Mayor Filner Re-Opens Door For Medical Marijuana Collectives In San Diego

January 09, 2013

Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh, Amita Sharma, KPBS San Diego

This week, Mayor Bob Filner re-opened the door to the possibility of legal medical marijuana collectives in San Diego. Speaking to the group Americans for Safe Access, the mayor said he would work to stop the city of San Diego from closing medical marijuana collectives.

As first reported by San Diego CityBeat, Goldsmith then sent Filner a letter saying that the mayor could stop him from going after the collectives in "30 seconds."

On Thursday, Filner responded by ordering the city to stop referring medical marijuana code violation cases to Goldsmith for prosecution.

On KPBS Midday Edition, Goldsmith said now that Filner’s done that, his office will leave dispensaries alone.

"Without the Code Compliance unit sending us matters or providing us information or evidence or direction, yes, it’s over," he said.

Goldsmith said his office only started going after dispensaries at the request of the San Diego police chief. However, the U.S. Attorney’s office is still actively trying to shut California dispensaries down. Medical marijuana is legal under state law, but still violates federal law.

Filner indicated he would review the results of the city's Medical Marijuana Task Force presented to the City Council more than two years ago. He referred to the federal, county and San Diego city crackdowns of the collectives as both prosecutions and persecutions.

Goldsmith also told KPBS he did not take personal offense to Filner's comments, which included calling Goldsmith a "little guy" and suggesting Goldsmith could be intimidated.

"I think he needs some slack and I'm giving him some slack," Goldsmith said. "I think he needs that time to adjust from being a congressman, advocate, rebel rouser, whatever you want to call it, to a mayor, and be mayoral."

KPBS asked Filner to appear on today's show to comment, but he was not available.

Eugene Davidovich, the chapter coordinator for San Diego Americans for Safe Access, called Filner's actions "a huge step forward." He said he wants Goldsmith's office to write recommendations on an ordinance for how dispensaries should be regulated.



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