Thousands of signatures calling for a special election on medical marijuana dispensaries in Lemon Grove were thrown out under a judge’s ruling on Oct. 23.
Voters in Lemon Grove approved Measure V in November 2016, an ordinance to allow medical marijuana dispensaries. The measure passed by only about 90 votes.
A special election would seek to clarify Measure V and clear up issues like zoning and the legality of delivery services.
A complaint was filed after the Lemon Grove City Clerk refused to accept signatures collected by petitioners in favor of a special election. She determined voters had signed petitions with incomplete language of the proposed measure.
Judge Kenneth J. Medel agreed with the clerk's decision and upheld the action, ordering the proponents of a new election to collect a new batch of signatures before the January 2018 deadline.
The city's title for the proposed ballot measure was "An Ordinance Amendment of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Regulations Removing Children's Day Care Centers Licensed for Less Than 13 Children From 'Protected Use' Designation; Clarifying the Definition for Alcohol & Substance Treatment Centers; Adding Construction Apprenticeship Requirements; Allowing Dispensary Off-Site Distribution; Limiting Dispensary Permit Revocations Unless They Constitute a 'Serious Threat and Reckless Disregard for Public Health, Safety and General Welfare'; and Other Changes."
The signatures submitted to the clerk were on petitions titled "An Ordinance Amendment of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Regulations Removing Children's Day Care Centers Licensed for Less Than 13 Children From 'Protected Use' Designation; Clarifying the Definition for Alcohol & Substance Treatment Centers; Adding Construct."
Proponents began soliciting signatures on Aug. 11. They need 15 percent of Lemon Grove’s registered voters to agree to a special election.
The city is concerned about the potential cost of a special election, which could be more than $300,000.