Pubdate: Tue, 05 Dec 2006
Source: Lodi News-Sentinel (CA)
Copyright: 2006 Lodi News-Sentinel
Author: John Upton, San Joaquin News Service
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Locals prescribed marijuana to fight pain and illness may soon be 
breathing cloudy sighs of relief, with a nonprofit group announcing 
Monday through a lawyer that it would fight city plans to close its 
downtown medical marijuana dispensary.

Tracy code enforcement officer Pat Zona told the Valley Wellness 
Center Collective in a Nov. 22 letter that it would expose itself to 
daily fines if it continued selling marijuana. The letter gave the 
wellness center until 5 p.m. today to appeal.

Zona said in the letter that the sale of marijuana is not listed in 
Tracy's zoning laws.

Wellness center attorney James Anthony said Tracy had given only 
vague reasons for closing the month-old dispensary, and he claimed 
the decision violated his client's property rights.

"It seems to me that they're saying that because it (the dispensary) 
is not permitted, it's therefore prohibited," said Anthony. "Do you 
have to trot along and ask their permission for every little thing? 
I'm not sure.

"They haven't regulated medical cannabis collectives. They haven't 
banned them. They haven't put a moratorium in place to see how they 
might regulate them."

City spokesman Matt Robinson said he was amazed to hear that the 
center would challenge its banishment.

"They just won't go away, will they?" Robinson said.

The city has received one complaint about the center from a 
neighboring restaurant, said Robinson.

A center employee estimated that 75 people visit the 11th Street 
dispensary every week. There are an estimated 150 dispensaries statewide.

The city closed a marijuana dispensary in the downtown Opera House 
earlier this year. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake