Monday, February 2, 2009

Medical Marijuana Facility Ordinance Must Not Overburden Neighborhoods

During the Planning & Land Use Management Committee’s discussion of the City Attorney’s latest medical marijuana dispensary ordinance, I pressed for changes in the proposed ordinance to protect neighborhoods from high concentrations of these facilities. Not unlike other parts of the City, Eagle Rock has numerous stores within a small area, which does not seem logical or fair. My staff has worked with the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and encouraged them to draft a letter voicing their concerns with the City for the record. Also, I had previously checked to make sure the medical marijuana facilities that are in the area were in compliance. While I support the spirit of Proposition 215, I want to be perfectly clear: I want an ordinance with sufficient safeguards in it to allow City officials to shut down operators who are not in compliance with the basic tenants of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. I also want assurances that the City will not permit the over-concentration of dispensaries in the same neighborhood, as well as keep them away from schools, parks and religious institutions.