Pubdate: Sat, 14 May 2005
Source: Lodi News-Sentinel (CA)
Copyright: 2005 Lodi News-Sentinel
Author: Ross Farrow, News-Sentinel Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Since several cities in the Sacramento area have banned or restricted 
medical marijuana dispensaries, Galt officials think the city may be 
approached in the near future about allowing one to open there.

To prepare for that possibility, the City Council will consider issuing a 
45-day moratorium on medical marijuana at Tuesday's council meeting.

California voters approved The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which allows 
people to obtain and use medical marijuana under certain specified 

However, Senate Bill 420, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2004, authorizes 
cities and counties to regulate the distribution of medical marijuana 
within their communities.

"As more cities regulate or ban medical marijuana dispensaries, it is 
increasingly likely that medical marijuana dispensaries may seek to locate 
in Galt in the immediate future," according to a written report by Police 
Chief Doug Matthews and City Attorney Tom Gibson.

The cities of Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Rocklin, Roseville, Citrus 
Heights, Woodland and Davis have adopted ordinances banning medical 
marijuana dispensaries or limited their location, according to the report.

Further, it claims, cities that allow medical marijuana to be distributed 
report an increase of burglaries, robberies and the sale of illicit drugs.

Matthews and Gibson recommend that the City Council adopt an urgency 
ordinance, which means that the typical 30-day waiting period would not be 
required once the ordinance is adopted.

During the 45-day moratorium, city staff would investigate the affects a 
medical marijuana dispensary would have on Galt.

The California Department of Health Services is creating a pilot program 
beginning in July to regulate medical marijuana identification cards issued 
by dispensaries. The largest one in California is the Oakland Cannabis 
Buyers Cooperative.

Sacramento, Yuba, Sonoma, Mendocino, Marin, Del Norte, Trinity, Shasta, 
Amador and Santa Cruz counties will participate in the pilot program in the 
summer to regulate medical marijuana identification cards. San Joaquin 
County declined. However, all 58 counties will participate by the end of 
the year.

The city of Lodi does not have an ordinance regulating medical marijuana, 
according to Police Chief Jerry Adams.

"We have talked about it, but at this point, we haven't had a big rush in 
this area. It's not a bad idea," he added of the moratorium.

Adams said the city of Lodi has higher priorities on its plate, such as the 
city budget.

In other action Tuesday, the Galt City Council will consider: Expanding the 
assistant city manager's and planning director's position to full time. 
Currently, Curt Campion serves half time in each position, with half his 
salary coming from each of the two departments. Banning parking on C Street 
from Crystal Way to the Denny's restaurant area west of Civic Drive between 
9 p.m. and 7 a.m.The ban would be 24 hours a day within 50 feet of any 
driveway or parking lot within the same area.  Ordering a professional 
audit of the police department's evidence room.  Final maps and subdivision 
agreements for the Chancellor Estates No. 6, Grizzly Hollow Unit 3 and the 
Schmidt Ranch subdivisions.  Appointments to the newly created city Youth 

Tuesday's council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 380 Civic Drive. 
It will be preceded by a 6 p.m. closed session to conduct contract 
negotiations with the Galt Police Officers Association and on Matthews' 
personal contract as police chief. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake