Salinas council deadlocks on medical marijuana ban

August 20, 2007

Brian Seals, The Salinas Californian

An ordinance that would have permanently prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries in the city failed to pass at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

A vote that would have rejected the ban failed on a 3-3 tie vote. Councilman Steve Villegas was absent.

Councilmembers Jyl Lutes, Gloria De La Rosa and Sergio Sanchez favored rejecting the ban, saying sick people with a doctor’s recommendation should be able to get their medicine here.

Those who favored the ban cited the city’s image and a police department recommendation for the ban as reasons to prohibit the dispensaries. Councilmembers Janet Barnes and Tony Barrera favored the ban, as did Mayor Dennis Donohue.

The Council in March approved a temporary measure banning medical marijuana dispensaries on a 6-1 vote. That prohibition is in effect until next March, said City Attorney Vanessa Vallarta.

Vallerta said the matter would return to the Council, likely in September.

Under Proposition 215 passed in 1996, Californians with a doctor’s recommendation may possess and use marijuana. The closest dispensary to Salinas is in Santa Cruz.



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