Marijuana club ban extended in Calaveras

November 02, 2004

Vanessa Turner , Calaveras Enterprise

Calaveras County supervisors raised questions on the legality of medical marijuana Monday while they approved an extension to a temporary ban on medical marijuana dispensaries here.

Supervisor Paul Stein said he wanted to revisit an ordinance the board adopted after the 1996 passage of Proposition 215, which allows California patients to use medical marijuana with a physician's recommendation.

The ordinance set enforcement guidelines for the sheriff to regulate the use of medical marijuana.

'I opposed that from the beginning,' Stein said.

'I'd like to see the board's view of whether they support (medical marijuana use) in the county,' he said.

'I don't support bringing the guidelines back,' Supervisor Merita Callaway said.

Neither did Supervisor and board Chairman Tom Tryon.

But Supervisors Lucy Thein and Victoria Erickson did and the guidelines will come back for review when the ordinance is ready.

County Counsel Jim Jones said he would bring back the history and Supreme Court decisions for the board to review.

The board unanimously extended by 60 days a 45-day ban approved Sept. 27 to study the issue further and come up with an appropriate zoning ordinance. That ban would have expired Nov. 11.

Because the ordinance has to go to the Planning Commission first, a 60-day extension of the ban was necessary, Jones said.

The extension is also needed to give the board time to consider commissioners' recommendations and to accommodate the required 30-day period before a zoning ordinance goes into effect, Jones said.

The Planning Commission will consider the first draft of the ordinance at its meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday.

At present, marijuana clubs are not listed as a permitted use in any county zone.

The proposed ordinance puts the dispensaries as a conditional use in all zoning districts designated as professional offices. Conditional uses require an administrative use permit, which is issued by the planning director and is good for one year with an option to reapply every year.

This discussion started when Kim Cue of San Andreas applied to open a dispensary in San Andreas at Highway 49 and Mountain Ranch Road near the county surveyor and 4-H offices.

Cue showed up at Monday's board meeting to say, 'I'm the one who started this whole medical marijuana dispensary thing. You have my complete support,' she told the board.

Cue runs Calaveras Compassion Collective, a medical marijuana delivery service with 60 to 70 clients in Calaveras County.

Contact Vanessa Turner at vturner@calaverasenterprise

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