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In a last ditch effort to ease the restrictions placed on medical marijuana dispensaries, supporters of prescription cannabis appeared before the city council on April 12, urging councilmembers to amend the ordinances that were approved during a March 28 council meeting.

During the hearing, the final one before the regulations are officially added to the municipal code, dozens of pot-shop proponents asked councilmembers to open up all commercial and industrial zones to dispensaries, reduce the distance requirements to 600 feet, and allow dispensaries two years to become compliant with the new regulations.

They testified that if the ordinances are not amended then an estimated 70,000 people would have to wait years to gain access to their prescription pot. They also told councilmembers that if the restrictions are not eased then 72 dispensary owners plan to file lawsuits against the city.

"Regulations should not exceed those of pharmacies and liquor stores, otherwise the city could face multiple lawsuits," said city hall watchdog Jarvis Ross.

Despite the pleas, councilmembers refused to compromise.

"If you don't want us to approve this, then we can all go home and police raids will continue," said councilmember Marti Emerald over a loud applause from the audience.

"Go home then," shouted someone.

"If you want this to be illegal in the City of San Diego, then we can all go home," responded Emerald. "For those of you that say this is a ban, you're dead wrong."

After hours of public testimony and council comment, councilmembers passed the ordinances without amendments, making the 160-plus dispensaries that are currently operating in the city illegal.

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Comments

TheKindGardenersCollective April 14, 2011 @ 12:58 p.m.

WE in the Medical Marijuana community have obviously done a poor job of communicating with our elected officials.

On our Council, Emerald stated "the Ordinance includes Commercial parcels in every District", when in fact, there are NO commercial parcels in the City that are zoned to allow Dispensaries.

She mis-understood the Ordinance, what it contained, what effects it will have. Then voted for it.

DeMaio stated that Prop 215 "Applies only to seriously sick and terminal patients". This is SO fundamentally incorrect. For FIFTEEN years, this plain, clear language (text of the actual law) has stated:

(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or ANY OTHER ILLNESS for which marijuana provides relief. (that's the law, folks)

That final line is pretty clear. If I have insomnia, and Medical Marijuana works for that, then it's legal for me to use it.

Councilman DeMaio should do better than promote legislation that discriminates against a specific segment of our community, where their behavior is completely legal.

The Council needs to:

1/ Add a minimum one year grace period to allow Dispensaries to come in line with Zoning. Otherwise, ALL Dispensaries are, by existance, illegal. THAT is unacceptable, as it is a defacto BAN.

2/ Add all Commercial zones to the areas which allow Dispensaries.

3/ Remove discriminatory 'sensitivity zones', which prevent the location of Dispensaries in the very areas the patients live.

4/ Allow Dispensaries to apply for a permit using 'process one' - the same process used for a medical office or Pharmacy.

Finally, the lawful expression of Civil Disobedience at last week's Council meeting was inspiring, it was NOT an embarassment. The vote approving the Ordinance was not prevented, but a message was sent:

Our struggle for safe access to reliable sources of medical marijuana medicine continues, and we are not backing down.

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abalase April 15, 2011 @ 8:50 a.m.

Congrats, San Diego counsel- Your incompetence managed to once again prove that stupid mob mentality will prevail over independent thought every time.

I'd like to see a world in which marijuana is the cure to what ails you unnecessary counsel members BUT, as per every good movie, there's a twist... just 5 years earlier, those same counsel members succeeded in completely eradicating the weed. All the while, the rest of the world is laughing at this brutal and completely just irony. The End.

I'd totally watch that show

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collectivesSUCK April 18, 2011 @ 10:10 a.m.

Good the council has voted correctly. there are way to many collectives out there more than Starbucks and 7elevens combined.I smoke marijuana and i have a recrimination from a doctor not a prescription theres a difference. Only to avoid breaking the law thats it. Its negligents to not have one its like driving with out a driver licence. The doctors are to blame giving out recontamination like candy two year ago they where two hundred dollars now there forty. just because the competing doctors drove down the price. What other medication is administered this way "none", and its good for a year or six months depending on what you want not the doctor. Could you imagine if doctors recriminated other drugs this way. the doctor are supposed to have a higher moral background. They are the real crooks in this issue. The rest of the people that care about this issue are the collective owners because they will lose there weed investment and there public weed store. that why you didn't really see anyone else fighting at the council meetings. its about people use a loop hole in the system to make money thats the bottom line.

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