De-Facto Ban in San Diego County – KUSI News Coverage

KUSI Channel 9, ran a story last night about the San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote to enact a de-facto ban on medical marijuana collective facilities in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. (this ordinance does not apply to the City of San Diego)

This new measure applies to unincorporated part of San Diego County, places like Borrego Springs, Lakeside, and Spring Valley. The ordinance is drawing fire from both sides: both opponents and supporters of medical pot say they’re not that happy.

Some say they need the pot for medicine. Others say the dispensaries for marijuana only bring more problems to the community.

“You can regulate them all you want,” argues Barbara Gordon, “but you will not stop the crime that is associated with selling marijuana.”

Fourteen years after California voters passed proposition 215, allowing the use of medical marijuana, San Diego’s Board of Supervisors approved the first set of regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries in the unincorporated parts of the county. The new ordinance restricts dispensaries to industrial zones and requires a buffer of at least one thousand feet from homes, schools, and other areas where children gather.

Some citizens were disappointed the board did not impose a blanket ban on all dispensaries.

“Purchasing marijuana in a retail setting is saying that it’s normal and harmless to youth. And marijuana is not harmless” adds Gordon.

“We have seen in San Diego” begins Scott Chipman “weak regulation and virtually nonexistent enforcement that has resulted in over one-hundred and twenty stores selling marijuana illegally and more are opening every week.

The county’s planning department identified ten possible sites for dispensaries, but advocates for medical marijuana say the county has acted in bad faith. They say the requirements here are so restrictive that no dispensaries will be able to operate.

“The ordinance that was passed today completely bans all dispensaries” claims Kate Valentine, a member of Americans for Safe Access, “it’s a de facto ban.”

Proponents of medical marijuana claim the county planner who crafted the ordinance was given specific orders.

“He told us that he was under the instruction to create this ordinance as restrictive as possible, yet still be able to defend it in court. This is yet another attempt to eradicate medical cannabis from patients that need it.” explains Eugene Davidovich.

Those advocates with a group called Americans for Safe Access say the county suggested areas including a cement quarry and some spots that are so inaccessible they don’t even have roads. On the other hand another group called Community Against Substance Abuse and short of an outright band, they say they are pleased with the ordinance.

San Diego Americans for Safe Access

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