The Petaluma City Council voted to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries, questioning the legality of the facilities and pointing out the opinion of law enforcement that the pot clubs attract crime.

With two members absent, the council voted 4-1 Monday for an urgency ordinance. That replaces a temporary moratorium on pot clubs set to expire June 5.

One council member said she was influenced by the situation with an unsanctioned dispensary in 2001, when a police officer was shot in the face.

"How quickly we forget," Councilwoman Samantha Freitas said. "We tried this in our city and unfortunately it didn't work. I would hate to see history repeat itself."

Mayor Pam Torliatt and Councilwoman Teresa Barrett blamed the previous facility's failure on the lack of regulations and called for a subcommittee to study marijuana sales.

Petaluma Police Chief Steve Hood listed several reasons for a ban, not the least of which is that marijuana possession remains illegal under federal law. Hood said the all-cash businesses have led to crime in other cities, costing thousands of dollars in police overtime.


Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: SFGate (CA)
Author: The Associated Press
Contact: readerrep@sfchronicle.com
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Website: SF Gate: The San Francisco Bay Area