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Ban on Pot Dispensaries in Laguna Niguel Is Now Permanent

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
The Laguna Niguel City Council on Tuesday night decided unanimously to make the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries permanent.

The ban was passed on a temporary basis in 2009–and renewed twice–to allow time for a zoning study to consider the effects of allowing or preventing dispensaries to operate within the city limits.

Tuesday's decision followed a contentious discussion at the last City Council meeting–held two weeks ago–which included possible alternatives to the ban.

One alternative–proposed by Councilman Robert Ming–was to allow dispensaries but require them to operate under the same rules as pharmacies.

"If a dispensary really wants to serve only medicinal purposes as they say, they should be willing to act like pharmacies. We should have no reason to fear dispensaries if they really abide by pharmacy restrictions–including specific prescriptions, quantity control, audits, accurate books and records, security, regular certifications, trained staff," Ming said.

But Ming has doubts that many dispensaries would be willing to abide by such stringent rules. "At least they would be on a level playing field with the pharmacies, and that makes sense to me," Ming said.

In the discussion that took place at the previous council meeting, Councilwoman Linda Lindholm disagreed with Ming, saying that while she has sympathy for patients, she was opposed to dispensaries because of practical concerns. Lindholm said safety problems would be too difficult to overcome with the city's limited resources, and that, under the current lack of regulation by the state, dispensaries could not safely coexist with the community.

After Tuesday's vote, Lindholm said Ming's idea will eventually be considered, with the council deciding to devote 10 hours of the city's resources to research the state and federal reports on the issue.

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: lagunaniguel.patch.com
Author: Debbie Tharp
Copyright: 2011 Patch Network
Contact: Contact Us - Laguna Niguel, CA Patch
Website: Ban on Pot Dispensaries in Laguna Niguel Is Now Permanent
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