January 29, 2013 (San Diego) -- Today, the City Council met in Closed Session to address civil enforcement actions that were filed against marijuana dispensary operators and property owners to compel compliance with the City’s zoning laws.
On a unanimous vote (with Councilmember Faulconer absent) and with agreement by the Mayor, the Council directed the City Attorney not to dismiss the cases. In order to preserve the status quo, the current zoning laws will be enforced. Dispensaries should not open in violation of existing laws.
The Mayor and City Attorney will bring to the City Council in public session a zoning ordinance, similar to what was previously adopted, for discussion purposes, post-haste. Although no member of the City Council may commit at this point to the substance of an ordinance, the goal is to try and get in place as soon as possible a zoning amendment that will allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in designated areas of the City.
Comment from Mayor Bob Filner: “I will be working very hard in the next 30 days to bring an ordinance to the City Council that ensures that the zoning law allows for reasonable regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of San Diego. As I’ve said before, I want those who legitimately need medical marijuana for the relief of pain to have access to it legally. That is the compassionate thing to do.”
Comment from City Council President Todd Gloria: “Today’s action by the Mayor and Council is a critical step forward for patients seeking safe access and for neighborhoods concerned about the impacts of dispensaries. I look forwarding to scheduling a hearing on a proposed ordinance soon.”
Comment from City Attorney Jan Goldsmith: “I appreciate the Mayor’s leadership in moving the City toward a solution on medical marijuana dispensaries. Our office looks forward to working with the Mayor and City Council on an ordinance. In the meantime, we will maintain the status quo through enforcement of current laws.”