San Bernardino bans medical marijuana dispensaries
San Bernardino became the latest Inland city to ban medical marijuana dispensaries late Monday.
City Council members voted unanimously, with Dennis Baxter and Rikke Van Johnson absent, in favor of a ban, Deputy City Clerk Linda Sutherland said.
California voters decriminalized medical marijuana in 1996, but San Bernardino and San Diego counties filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the decision. The counties declined to issue permits until after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal earlier this year.
San Bernardino County has begun issuing medical marijuana identification cards but has a moratorium in place on new dispensaries in unincorporated areas.
Several Inland cities, most recently Yucaipa on Sept. 14, have outlawed dispensaries.
San Bernardino had imposed a temporary moratorium in March 2007 and extended it twice, most recently in February 2008, a staff report shows.
The report notes that California's decriminalization conflicts with federal law. Studies by other cities show dispensaries contribute to increases in noise, traffic, burglaries and robberies, the report states.
During the public comment section of the meeting, Jay Lindberg warned that denying dispensaries permission to open could mean refusing seriously ill people medicine authorized under California law. Councilwoman Wendy McCammack said her grown daughter has frequently told her how easy it can be to obtain a false prescription.
10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, September 22, 2009
By CHRIS RICHARD