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Commission Favors Strengthening Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban

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The Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously supported adding new language to the city's ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, strenghtening the code and potentially preventing legal action from being filed against the city.

The item will now head to the Calabasas City Council for a final vote before the municipal code revisions are implemented.

One of the key proposed dispensary ban changes, recommended by City Attorney Michael Colantuono, states that "any violation of this section of the code is not a criminal act."

The decision to update the code was inspired by a 2007 case in which a court ruled in favor of the Qualified Patients Association in a case against the city of Anaheim. A judge ruled that a local government could not seek misdemeanor charges against those who open medical marijuana dispensaries in communities that outlaw such businesses.

Seeking criminal charges conflicts with California's Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the voter-approved measure that legalized medical marijuana in the state.

However, local governments are allowed to pursue a civil case against dispensary owners.

Another section of the suggested revisions includes a paragraph that bans "any other facility which involves the distribution of drugs or other substances which it is illegal to distribute or possess under state or federal law."

Commissioners suggested only a few minor changes to the language recommended by city staff. Chair John Mueller said when it came to penalizing violators of the revised code, "non-criminal remedies" should be changed to "civil penalties" in order to be more specific.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: calabasas.patch.com
Author: Arin Mikailian
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Patch
Website: Commission Favors Strengthening Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban
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