Contra Costa County May Extend Medical Marijuana Moratorium


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Contra Costa County supervisors will vote Tuesday on a proposed ordinance that would extend a moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county for one year.

The current ordinance creating the moratorium is set to expire on April 10, according to a staff report.

If the ordinance were allowed to expire, people would theoretically be able to open medical marijuana dispensaries in certain zoning areas within the county with little regulation.

According to the staff report, many jurisdictions that have allowed medical marijuana dispensaries to open up have reported increased crime, including armed robberies and burglaries, in the areas immediately surrounding the dispensaries.

Some of those jurisdictions have also experienced increased loitering in the areas around the dispensaries, increased traffic congestion, parking problems and noise problems, according to the report.

Last year, the board created the medical marijuana "task force," which is currently made up of Supervisor Mary Piepho and Supervisor Susan Bonilla along with the Community Development Department, the Health Services Department, the District Attorney's office, County Counsel and the Sheriff's Department.

The task force was given the job of developing recommendations for permanent regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Contra Costa County.

According to the staff report, more time is needed to develop the permanent regulations that will prevent dispensaries from opening up near schools, churches, day care centers and other sensitive areas.

The ordinance requires a four-fifths vote to pass and would go into effect immediately.

Sonoma County, which had a similar moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of that county, recently passed an ordinance regulating new dispensaries.

The Sonoma County ordinance requires that 1,000 feet separate a dispensary from a school, day care center or playground. Each dispensary will have to obtain a use permit and a public hearing will be held on each application.

The ordinance disallows consumption of marijuana on the dispensaries' premises and limits the number of patients a dispensary can serve.

Newshawk: CoZmO -
Source: (NV)
Author: David Pehling
Copyright: 2007 by Bay City News
Website: Reno & Lake Tahoe's source for news


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No biggie.. we've got Buzz's MEDS still providing good medicine.
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