Pubdate: Thu, 31 Jul 2008
Source: Acorn, The (Agoura Hills, CA)
Page: Front Page
Copyright: 2008 J.Bee NP Publishing, Ltd.
Author: Stephanie Bertholdo
Photo: Home Grown - Qualified individuals can cultivate their own 
marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 that 
decriminalizes medical marijuana, might be the law in California, but 
dispensaries that are used for selling the weed will be against the 
law in Agoura Hills if city officials have their way.

According to California law, cities have the right to prohibit the 
operation of certain businesses under their general plan and specific 

On July 17, the Agoura Hills Planning Commission recommended that the 
City Council approve a zoning amendment outlawing the medical 
marijuana cooperatives.

Agoura Hills enacted a moratorium on the dispensaries in 2006 to 
review the medical marijuana issue and decide whether the facilities 
should be allowed to operate within city boundaries. The moratorium 
was initiated when a dispensary opened on Agoura Road without proper 
registration, and the owner used false signage to conceal its true identity.

Doug Hooper, Agoura Hills assistant director of community 
development, said although the state law allows people to use a 
limited amount of marijuana if prescribed by a doctor, the issue 
remains "unclear" as to whether the distribution of marijuana on a 
larger scale is lawful

The law was intended to give seriously ill Californians the right to 
possess and use marijuana for a variety of chronic medical 
conditions, but critics say that many doctors will prescribe 
marijuana to teens who simply complain of stomach aches, anxiety, 
headaches and other ailments just so they can legally get high.

A report to the planning commissioners included several studies 
conducted by the California Chiefs of Police Association, the 
Riverside District Attorney's office, and reports from several news agencies.

"The United States Department of Justice's California Medical 
Marijuana Information report advised that large-scale drug 
traffickers have been positioned as caregivers to obtain and sell 
marijuana," Hooper said.

Assistant City Attorney Candace Lee said Agoura Hills will not issue 
a business license to anybody for an activity that is prohibited by 
federal law.

Many of the planning commissioners felt conflicted about the ordinance.

Illece Buckley Weber said while the city would be "remiss" in 
allowing dispensaries to open in Agoura Hills, she felt 
"disheartened" by the ordinance since cancer patients and other 
people with serious medical conditions can benefit from the drug.

Commissioner Cyrena Nouzille agreed that while there are some 
legitimate uses for marijuana, there wasn't a need for a dispensary 
in Agoura Hills. She said qualified individuals still have the right 
to cultivate up to six mature plants at their homes.

"At least individual rights are not conflicting," Nouzille said. 
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