Santa Cruz approves medical marijuana dispensary
July 27, 2005 - Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CRUZ - Seriously ill patients who need marijuana to ease their pain should soon be able to buy the drug at a dispensary in the city.
Plans by Boulder Creek resident Lisa Molyneux to open a medical marijuana dispensary on DuBois Street in the Harvey West Business Park were unanimously approved by the City Council on Tuesday.
"There will always be something too complicated and too cumbersome to deal with," Councilwoman Emily Reilly said. "We should move forward, stay conscious and aware and responsive."
Police Chief Howard Skerry and Dannettee Shoemaker, director of the city Parks and Recreation Department, expressed reservations about the pot shop's proximity to Harvey West Park.
Both Skerry and Shoemaker recommended denial of Molyneux's application.
The Harvey West Area Association also wrote a letter opposing the special-use permit for a medical marijuana dispensary in their neighborhood.
No one else from the public spoke against the dispensary.
Shoemaker pointed out several youth activities at the park - soccer, swim lessons, Little League and day camps - that could be impacted by the dispensary's business.
Skerry said police departments in other cities have experienced problems with medical marijuana outlets located near parks.
Harvey West, he said, "continues to be the subject of numerous complaints regarding drug dealing, drinking, illegal camping and garbage complaints."
Still, council members strongly favor a medical marijuana shop and were criticized for not allowing such a business to open sooner.
Molyneux's shop will be limited to buying and selling the drug. Patients will not be allowed to consume marijuana at the site, nor will plants be sold.
A security guard is required to be on site during business hours, which are limited between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Other activities, including massage, education, support groups and chiropractic care, would not be allowed until Molyneux proves she can operate the dispensary with few problems.
A review by city officials will be done six months after opening.