The Mountain View City Council could vote today on a controversial proposal: whether to become the first city in Santa Clara County to open medicinal marijuana dispensaries.
The seven-member city council may decide to allow pot clubs with certain restrictions, ask the city's staff to study the idea, or discard the idea entirely.
Mayor Matt Neely said Monday that he is supportive of the controversial concept, but has some reservations before he welcomes pot clubs to Mountain View.
"It's a very challenging issue," he said. "But I think Mountain View should be a leader in the county. We are a progressive city."
Jonathan Lustig, a 26-year-old Mountain View resident, has pressed the council to allow marijuana dispensaries in the city so he doesn't have to travel to Oakland to pick up the doctor-prescribed substance that he says eases his crippling migraines and stomach pain.
Before the meeting -- which begins at 6:30 p.m. at 500 Castro St. -- supporters plan to petition residents outside City Hall to support the idea of a medicinal marijuana center in Mountain View.
Regulating such dispensaries has recently become complicated, particularly in California, which has more than 160 clubs. In 1996, voters passed Proposition 215, which sanctioned medicinal marijuana use. State law authorizes patients to use medicinal marijuana if they have certain diseases, including cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, arthritis or migraines. But in recent years, local and county governments have wrestled with how to regulate a substance that is still illegal under federal law.
Some members of the Mountain View City Council also have expressed concerns about how neighbors might respond to having a dispensary in their community and how the clubs might be monitored.
Councilman Greg Perry, who supports dispensaries, said he hopes to sway other members to examine the possibility.
"A lot of cities are trying to give people the runaround rather than tackle the difficult problems and that rubs me the wrong way," Perry said. "I wanted to kick off the discussion."