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Planning Commission Split On Medical Marijuana Dispensary


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It is the latest step in a proposed medical marijuana dispensary in Templeton.

Thursday, the County Planning Commission was split on whether to issue the business a permit.

Austin Connella hopes to establish the dispensary at 3850 Ramada in Templeton. His family owns the complex.

The controversy was whether it lay more than 1,000 feet away from a local park, like the ordinance requires.

With one member of the commission missing, the vote was two to two.

The commission is just as divided as Central Coast public opinion.

It is legal in California, but through federal eyes, it is against the law.

"I can understand why a lot of businesses say not in my neighborhood," said Star Drug Testing Manager Pete Dominguez.

Pete Dominguez manages a drug testing business ironically, just steps away from the proposed site.

"I get a lot of young adults coming in for pre employment tests. It's not good for the area," said Dominguez.

The next customer who walked into Star Testing: Jesse McCauley, a two year medical marijuana card holder.

"I cut my extension tendon in my thumb and I have chronic pain everyday," said medical marijuana cardholder, Jesse McCauley.

He tried other prescribed drugs, but his doctor suggested marijuana.

Jesse carries a folder at all times with his legal documents. But he knows not everyone plays by the rules.

"I've seen people go into the clubs in Morro Bay from down to Buellton, buy an ounce or two at a time, and just go sell it on the street. That's not how it should be, it's not right," said McCauley.

With the owner of a Morro Bay dispensary now under a federal indictment for alleged illegal profits, the pot business is under extra scrutiny.

"I don't think it's good for the area," said Dominguez.

"It'd be a lot easier for people to come here," McCauley suggested.

With no clear decision at Thursday's meeting, a solution is nowhere in sight.

The county ordinance allows for dispensaries in unincorporated parts of the county.

There are 58 cardholders San Luis Obispo County.

For 2007 so far, Santa Barbara County issued more than 100 cards.

The Planning Commission continued this item until October.

Wednesday, authorities announced a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raid of 10 medical marijuana clinics in Los Angeles County ended with five arrests.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles City Council introduced an interim ordinance calling on federal authorities to stop targeting pot clinics allowed under state law.

How do you feel about the possibility of a medical marijuana dispensary opening in Templeton?

In today's web poll, 64 percent said you would support one opening. Thirty-six percent of you would not.

News Mod: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: KSBY 6 (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Author: Melissa Mecija
Contact: mmecija@ksby.com
Copyright: 2007 WorldNow and KSBY
Website: KSBY 6 Action News
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