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Longer Ban on Marijuana Dispensaries Considered


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Amid uncertainty about the legality of medical marijuana dispensaries, the Agoura Hills City Council on Wednesday will consider extending a temporary ban on such businesses to give the issue more study.

The council approved a 45-day moratorium Sept. 27, prohibiting dispensaries from doing business in the city. That decision came shortly after the closure of the Conejo Wellness Center on Agoura Road. The business did not have a license to operate in the city and may have attempted to "conceal the true nature of the establishment," city officials have alleged.

City officials are closely watching how other cities are handling the issue, which will factor heavily in their study, City Attorney Craig Steele said.

Cities across the state, including Oxnard, Moorpark and Simi Valley, have taken similar steps to deal with the conflict between state and federal law. Proposition 215, approved by California voters in 1996, allows the use of medical marijuana with a physician's consent. The U.S. Supreme Court in June 2005 ruled such use illegal.

City staff members are not dealing in opinion or the merits of Proposition 215, Steele said.

"It's up to us to take a good professional look at the way communities have addressed this issue and give our best advice to the City Council," Steele said.

If extended as recommended by city staff, the ban would expire in September 2008. The two-year prohibition is the maximum allowable by state law.

City code currently doesn't allow medical marijuana dispensaries, but it doesn't prohibit them either.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 30001 Ladyface Court.

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Source: VenturaCountyStar.com
Pubdate: 7 November 2006
Copyright: 2006 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Contact: Feedback@venturacountystar.com
Website: Ventura County Star: Conejo Valley
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