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Board Recommends Not Allowing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Wildomar


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
Wildomar planning commissioners voted Wednesday to recommend that the City Council continue to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

Commissioners said they had uncertainty about the results of a statewide proposition that would make marijuana legal for people older than 21.

The commission voted 3-2, with Harv Dykstra and Michael Kazmier dissenting, to recommend the council vote down a proposed law allowing dispensaries.

The commission has the power only to suggest whether the city should lift its 2-year-old ban on storefront marijuana facilities. It is now left to the City Council to decide whether to allow nonprofit dispensaries.

Just one city in Riverside County allows them: Palm Springs.

Wildomar's proposed law is modeled after a code used by the city of Laguna Woods in Orange County. It would allow dispensaries in commercial zones, away from schools and parks. It would not put a cap on the number of dispensaries.

Several commissioners recommended Wednesday that if the city allows dispensaries, it limit the number to two.

The council could alter the law if it approves the measure. Planning Director David Hogan said the council could take up the matter during its second meeting in September.

In an occasionally raucous meeting, advocates and opponents cheered and jeered speakers. About 35 people spoke, about 20 of them against dispensaries.

Opponents contended that allowing dispensaries would increase crime. Several shared personal stories about relatives who had struggled with drug addiction.

Tim Walker said he moved out of Los Angeles 30 years ago "to get away from this stuff."

"I don't understand how we could get to this point in this community," Walker said. "We need to make a stand because this is a conservative area and it needs to stay that way."

They also repeatedly criticized those speaking in favor as profiteers from other cities concerned only with opening businesses in Wildomar.

Many of those in favor were affiliates with already-existing private collectives or delivery services. The ordinance being considered would allow only nonprofit dispensaries.

Carlos Stahl has battled with Lake Elsinore over an unlicensed dispensary he runs there called R Side Medical. He told the commission he believed he was within his rights under state law and planned to open a location in Wildomar "whether this commission approves it or doesn't approve it."

"The people have spoken," Stahl, of Lakeland Village, said of medical marijuana. "This is nothing new. This is the majority."

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: The Press-Enterprise
Author: JOHN F. HILL
Contact: The Press-Enterprise
Copyright: 2010 Press-Enterprise Company
Website: Board recommends not allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in Wildomar
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