Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pot returning to Morro?

Morro Bay leaders are taking great pains to avoid past problems as they
continue to draft regulations for the operation of medical marijuana

The city council voted 4-1 on March 8 to create a subcommittee to hammer
down legal terminology and possible ramifications for allowing up to two
dispensaries. City Attorney Rob Shultz will return a redrafted ordinance
to the council within 90 days.

The council said it recognized the need for a source of such treatment
for people with illnesses on the Central Coast, but the city will
proceed cautiously.

“It’s clear we’re in muddy waters here,â€
councilman Rick Grantham said at the meeting, citing the discrepancy
between state and federal law regarding medicinal marijuana. “I
would never want to see what happened to Charlie happen to anybody

Grantham was referencing the embattled former Morro Bay dispensary owner
Charles Lynch, who sat quietly in the back of the room during the

“Bottom line is, this is going to happen sooner or later,â€
Grantham told New Times. “There’s money to be made, and
city governments are strapped for cash. And it doesn’t seem fair
residents have to go to Oakland or L.A. for medicine.â€

Councilwoman Carla Borchard was the sole opposition for moving forward
and asked if the city was putting itself at risk of litigation.

Of the 16 public speakers, five were explicitly against allowing
dispensaries and cited the proposed location and “unsavory
characters†some said the businesses would attract.

Mayor Janice Peters, however, said that when the previous dispensary
operated, she received no complaints from surrounding businesses or

“I never got that call,†she said. “This was not
something we can say didn’t work.â€

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