Gloria: Medical marijuana restrictions to be enforced again

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego Police Department and the city's
Neighborhood Code Compliance Office have been ordered to resume enforcing
medical marijuana zoning restrictions, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Thursday.

In the first of what he promises to be weekly media briefings, Gloria
said a draft medical marijuana ordinance will be publicly vetted this fall, and
could go before the City Council early next year.

Without such a law, medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal within
city limits.

Former Mayor Bob Filner, who resigned in disgrace at the end of last
month, was a strong supporter of medical marijuana and refused to enforce the
city's zoning ordinances.

While dozens of dispensaries were shut down under previous Mayor Jerry
Sanders, many resumed doing business during Filner's nine months in office.

“The city of San Diego will not reward bad behavior,” Gloria said.

He said he issued the order to resume enforcement last week, but was
unaware of whether any cases had been referred to the City Attorney's Office.

“What I've identified as we've been working through our top-down review
of city departments is that the previous administration didn't always follow
the rules,” Gloria said. “When we know that we don't actually have zoning
regulations that allow for medical marijuana dispensaries, obviously the mayor
had ceased enforcement, and was not providing the cases that Code Compliance
would generate to the City Attorney's Office.”

The city of San Diego went years without adopting rules that would allow
dispensaries to operate legally under the Compassionate Use Act, passed by
state voters in 1996.

The City Council passed such an ordinance in 2011, but medical marijuana
advocates considered it too restrictive and collected enough petition
signatures to force the council members to rescind the law.

The consequence, however, was that those dispensaries that were
operating became illegal again.

Gloria said the current draft ordinance was set to go before the
Community Planners Committee and the Planning Commission before it reached the
City Council.

He also said he would move ahead with the city's program to offer
municipal services to competitive bidding, which is called “Managed
Competition,” and would solicit ideas from developers on how to use the former
Central Library building on E Street in downtown San Diego.

Categories: KUSI