Medical Marijuana Limitations Rescinded

City council still looking for solution to industry

By Paul Krueger
|  Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011  |  Updated 5:43 AM PDT
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The City Council voted 6-2 Monday afternoon to end restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries approved earlier this year, saying the city cannot afford the cost of a special ballot measure on medical marijuana.

The City Council voted 6-2 Monday afternoon to end restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries approved earlier this year, saying the city cannot afford the cost of a special ballot measure on medical marijuana.

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More than 50 speakers took turns Monday requesting the San Diego City Council rescind its medical marijuana policy, and by the end, the budget-strapped officials agreed.

Councilmembers voted 6-2 Monday afternoon to end restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries approved earlier this year, saying the city cannot afford the cost of a special ballot measure on medical marijuana.

They added that the repeal is not a solution and rules are needed for the local medical marijuana industry.

Had the council not repealed that ordinance, voters would have decided the issue because marijuana advocates gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

Nearly all of Monday's speakers requested the council rescind an ordinance it approved in April that severely limited the number and location of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Deborah Gostin, who says she needs marijuana to control symptoms of multiple schlerosis, said before the decision that she would have a tougher time buying the drug if the zoning restrictions remain.

But Scott Chipman of San Diegans for Safe Neighborhoods hoped the Council would shut down all dispensaries because they are selling the drug to many people who do not need it for medical reasons, he said. 

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