Pubdate: Wed, 18 May 2005
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2005 San Francisco Examiner
Author: Justin Jouvenal, Staff Writer
Cited: California Marijuana Party
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


New medical marijuana dispensaries will have to wait at least six
months before opening after the Board of Supervisors extended a
moratorium on the clubs Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisors wants more time to craft wide-ranging
legislation to regulate the clubs, which have come under close
scrutiny as they have proliferated around The City.

The City's 43 dispensaries currently face few restrictions on
location, operation or the quality of marijuana. Meanwhile, the number
of registered medical marijuana users has jumped from about 2,200 in
2002 to more than 7,000 today, according to the San Francisco
Department of Health.

A previous 45-day moratorium on new medical marijuana clubs expired

Medical marijuana advocates spoke for and against the ban at Tuesday's
board meeting. "We do need to be careful and progress very
thoughtfully," said Rev. RandeLyn C. Webster, co-founder of the San
Francisco Patients Cooperative.

Webster said she and other medical marijuana advocates had been
working on a plan to regulate the clubs and support an independent
agency to examine the finances of clubs and create a grievance
procedure for patients to register complaints.

Tony Bowles, the president of the California Marijuana Party, said the
clubs have done a good job of regulating themselves.

"In our experience, the vast majority of people that are [starting
clubs] are honorable and trying to treat sick patients," Bowles said.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi is putting together legislation on the
medical marijuana clubs and Mayor Gavin Newsom has proposed his own
set of guidelines. They include banning clubs within 1,000 feet of
such places as schools and playgrounds, outlawing drinking at clubs
and making clubs available to city inspectors.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake