Protesters target medical marijuana dispensaries in Chula Vista - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Protesters target medical marijuana dispensaries in Chula Vista

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Medical marijuana is legal in California, but in dozens of cities around San Diego county, unlicensed dispensaries are flourishing.

A group of protesters took aim Wednesday at illegal pot shops in Chula Vista.

The protesters invited members of the media to tag along as they gave a tour of nearly half a dozen illegal pot shops, all crammed into a five block area.

The first stop of the tour was an office where medical marijuana cards are issued. The manager was willing to talk and said no matter what the protesters think, he'll "end up winning in the end."

There is no gray area. These shops selling medical pot are breaking the law. But as Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas concedes, it's hard to shut them down.

The South Bay city can cite them for code violations, that's a civil actions, which can drag on for months.

But the city is about to take a tougher stand.

The city council is considering a change in the law that would allow the criminal prosecution of these operators.

They also want to beef up civil penalties and lift the current cap of $1,000 in fines.

In the meantime, civic watchdogs say they'll keep fighting to make their neighborhoods safer.

Those changes to toughen enforcement actions against the dispensaries will be considered by Chula Vista's city council when it meets again in two weeks.

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