SUPERVISOR BACKS OFF PLAN FOR 8 POT CLUBS Facing what he calls a political reality, Supervisor Sean Elsbernd is backing off from his suggestion that San Francisco should have no more than eight medical marijuana clubs. In legislation submitted this week, Elsbernd is now proposing a one- year moratorium on any new clubs once the city's Planning Commission has issued permits for existing clubs to operate under regulations proposed earlier this summer by Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Gerardo Sandoval. There are more than 40 pot clubs that have cropped up in San Francisco since passage of a 1996 state measure permitting marijuana use for medical purposes -- with 7,000 registered medical marijuana patients in the city. Police say the system is widely abused, with drug dealers and gang members buying at the clubs along with patients who have a legitimate need for weed. Elsbernd believes his legislation will help keep the number of pot clubs around 35, a level that should have broader political support at the Board of Supervisors. "I did not sense that a majority of my colleagues were interested in knocking it down to single digits," Elsbernd said Friday. The Planning Commission is expected to take up pot club regulation in the coming months.