"Now you are finally considering zoning and operational ordinances regarding medical marijuana, which you will vote on tomorrow, and what are you proposing to adopt? A de facto ban that would effectively eliminate all medical marijuana facilities from operating in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County." -- Martha Sullivan
By Martha Sullivan
June 29, 2010 (San Diego)--As someone who is not a medical marijuana patient nor dispensary operator, but simply a taxpayer, voter and small business owner, I find the continuing opposition by my County Board of Supervisors to the Compassionate Use Act passed by California voters 14 years ago an affront to voters and taxpayers.
As I stated at last week’s hearing on the proposed medical marijuana ordinances, your refusal to implement this law--going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge it and not issuing the medical marijuana ID cards it prescribes until last summer--has resulted in unjustified prosecutions of medical marijuana patients who did not have an ID card and contributed to the proliferation of dispensaries without benefit of the local regulation YOUR elected body was charged with.
Now you are finally considering zoning and operational ordinances regarding medical marijuana, which you will vote on tomorrow, and what are you proposing to adopt? A de facto ban that would effectively eliminate all medical marijuana facilities from operating in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.
THIS, despite the County Counsel's advice to you and your colleagues during last week's public hearing that the courts are most likely to find that such bans will not stand legal challenge. This Board continues to willfully defy CA voters' passage of Prop 215 in 1996 allowing medical marijuana, and to spend our tax dollars fighting it.
The proposed ordinance requires medical marijuana dispensaries to be located in industrially-zoned parcels at least 1000 feet from homes, schools, parks, churches and other dispensaries. The only other such distance separation requirement by the County is for adult entertainment outlets. The County Planning Commission recommended LOWER distance separation requirements to you and your colleagues -- which you disregarded, thereby finding that medical marijuana patients are more of a threat or nuisance to residents, schoolchildren and churchgoers than the purveyors and patrons of porn. REALLY?
I join other Compassionate Use supporters in urging you to add the following zones as allowed uses:
Medical Center Commercial-C46
Office Professional- C30
Heavy Commercial- C37
Freeway Commercial- C44
Rural Commercial- C40
If distance separation requirements MUST be specified, I also join the County Planning Commission's recommendation to impose no stricter distance separation requirements than those imposed upon adult entertainment uses.
Please give this your serious consideration; this is what your elective office as a County Supervisor calls upon you to do, to implement state law without personal bias.
The opinions expressed in this editorial reflect the views of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. If you wish to submit an editorial for consideration, please contact editor@EastCountyMagazine.org.