By Miriam Raftery
September 13, 2010 (San Diego) – San Diego’s City Council will consider an ordinance today that would crack down on 125 medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.
The proposed ordinance is modeled after a measure approved by the San Diego Board of Supervisors in June for the County’s unincorporated areas. That ordinance limits dispensaries to industrial areas and requires that they be at least 1,000 feet away from schools, playgrounds, religious institutions and homes.
Supporters have contended that the ordinance is needed to restrict access to marijuana by non-medical users, particularly minors. Opponents have argued that the County ordinance places an unreasonable burden on medical marijuana patients who lack access in rural areas.
Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act which legalized medical marijuana in California, was approved by voters 14 years ago. But controversies continue. Medical marijuana remains illegal under federal law, which prohibits distribution of marijuana through pharmacies, hence the rise of independent medical marijuana dispensaries.
The issue may become moot, however, if voters approve Proposition 19 on the November ballot, which would legalize marijuana usage of non-medical as well as medical uses in California.