Marijuana, Tijuana Discussed During Casual Conversation with Mayor

Mayor Bob Filner hopes to have frequent ‘pen and paper’ meetings with members of the press

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Filner in an earlier appearance on NBC 7's "Politically Speaking."

    At an informal meeting with the press Wednesday, Mayor Bob Filner said a letter from the city attorney prompted him to protect medical marijuana dispensaries -- a move he now regrets.

    Filner had said earlier this month that he wanted to present a new ordinance to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, and in the meantime, dismiss violators' cases.

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    Mayor Bob Filner addresses his veto of the City Council's appointments to the Port of San Diego.

    However the mayor backed down from this effort Tuesday when the City Council voted to not dismiss those cases.

    Filner blamed his initial action on a letter sent to him by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.

    “The city attorney sort of invited with a letter saying ‘I could just stop prosecution if you asked me to,’” Filner said. “It was different information, frankly, than what I had earlier.”

    He said he now realizes it would have been better to wait before pushing forward on the ordinance.

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    City Council President Todd Gloria and Jon Elliott, a Democratic strategist who has advised Mayor Filner spoke to Gene Cubbison spoke about the first few turbulent weeks of the mayor and president's leadership.

    Filner held the “Pen and Paper” meeting on Wednesday’s in the hopes that journalists will have a chance to ask him candid questions about his policies. Among those questions, Filner was also asked about San Diego’s newly-close relationship with Tijuana.

    His administration has already secured an office in the Mexican city, and will open the office next week. Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante will hopefully be present for the opening, Filner said.

    The purpose of the office will be to establish a better line of communication between the two cities. He even promised a direct line between his San Diego office and Bustamante’s so they can keep up with the every-day activities of each city.

    “He calls it a ‘bat phone,’ I call it a hotline,” Filner said of the phone system.

    Filner said eventually, this communication will help both sides of the border improve business and tourism. It may even lead to shared resources, he said, suggesting perhaps that if Tijuana had an extra fire truck, San Diego could use it in an emergency.

    Watch: Highlights from NBC 7's "Politically Speaking"

    Filner said he and Bustamante will travel to D.C. and Mexico City to push for faster border crossing times at the U.S.-Mexico border as well.

    Mayor Filner added, half-jokingly, that San Diegans should adopt Tijuana's champion soccer team because the "Chargers are doing so badly.”