Adelanto: No medical marijuana for now

March 08, 2007

Matthew C. Durkee, Victorville Daily Press

In a special meeting City Council members voted to impose a 45-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The moratorium was an urgent response to what City Attorney Marguerite P. Battersby called "a couple of applications made recently for medical marijuana dispensaries."

In 1996 a 56 percent majority of Californians passed Prop 215, which made the use of marijuana legal with a doctor's recommendation for certain medical needs such as cancer, glaucoma and chronic pain. Marijuana possession or use of any kind remains illegal under federal law.

According to the city's agenda report, medical marijuana dispensaries have tended to be magnets for crime: Muggings, illegal drug sales nearby, DUI, burglaries and more.
The city's t e m p o r a r y m o r at o r i u m gives it 45 days to consider a permanent policy.

Mayor Pro Tem Charley B. Glasper outlined the hazards the city could face no matter which course it takes.

"If you say yes (to dispensaries), you're going to be facing a lot of abuses. If you say no, you could face a constitutional challenge."

However, Glasper's mind was firmly made up that he does not want them in town.
"It's a crime issue. Who knows what happens between when people get the marijuana and when they use it."

Mayor Jim Nehmens and Councilman Scott A. McCauley would also like to see the moratorium become permanent. The vote for the temporary ban was unanimous, with Councilman Steven R. Baisden absent.

C o u n c i l - man Trinidad Perez said he thought that m a r i j u a n a did have medicinal value for cancer patients and was more open to other options.
B at t e r s by told the council that other options include permitting dispensaries without any oversight or permitting them with restrictions.
"You can heavily regulate them, not unlike an adult bookstore, to avoid a lot of the negatives."

Battersby said heavy regulation would be her recommendation, including limiting the dispensaries to a certain zone.



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