Laguna Hills introduces medical marijuana ban

August 28, 2007

Aljandra Molina, Orange County Register

The city of Laguna Hills is moving to make permanent a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The City Council on Tuesday on a 5-0 vote approved introduction of the ordinance. A previously adopted interim urgency ordinance that banned medical marijuana dispensaries will expire Oct. 24, said City Attorney Gregory Simonian.

No further extension of the interim urgency ordinance is allowed by state law.

California voters have approved the use of medical marijuana, but possession is still prohibited under federal law.

With the legal uncertainties and concerns that medical marijuana dispensaries might lead to loitering or crime, city staff has recommended that the council adopt the proposed ordinance. It prohibits any land use that would be illegal under state or federal law.

Simonian said the city's stance on marijuana dispensaries is no different than what other cities like Orange are doing. They, too, ban uses that are inconsistent with either state or federal law.

The proposed ordinance is scheduled for adoption at the next regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at City Hall, 24035 El Toro Road.

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