Grand Terrace to vote on medical marijuana ban

March 25, 2007

Julie Farren, Press Enterprise

The Grand Terrace City Council tonight will consider prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

If the council approves an ordinance, a second reading will be held in two weeks, and the new law will take effect in 30 days.

City Manager Tom Schwab said Grand Terrace chose not to adopt an immediate moratorium on the dispensaries upon the advice of City Attorney John Harper.

"There's no imminent danger to the health and safety of our community to justify doing that," Schwab said.

Prop. 215 was passed in 1996 to decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, the sale and use of marijuana is illegal under federal law.

Schwab said he had read some articles on the subject and saw that other cities were taking proactive measures to ban the medical marijuana dispensaries.

Upland adopted a moratorium in January 2006 and amended it in December. Rancho Cucamonga approved an urgency ordinance last week.

Earlier this month, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gloria Connor Trask ordered the immediate closure of a medical marijuana dispensary operating in Norco.

Norco said Collective Solutions, which had been operating on Sixth Street in that city since December, had broken the law by operating without a license and violated the zoning code.

Indio, Palm Desert and San Jacinto also have banned the dispensaries.

Schwab also said Grand Terrace does not have enough law enforcement to deal with any potential problems concerning the dispensaries.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Grand Terrace Civic Center, 22795 Barton Road.

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