Pubdate: Sat, 13 Jun 2009
Source: Union, The (Grass Valley, CA)
Copyright: 2009 The Union
Author: Liz Kellar, Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


A moratorium on medical marijuana shops was extended to one year
during a Grass Valley City Council meeting Friday.

The council had enacted a 45-day moratorium April 28 after police
Chief John Foster requested the emergency ordinance, telling council
members crime has escalated around other marijuana dispensaries in

At the April meeting, council members said they did not want a
full-fledged ban and asked Foster and city staff to come up with rules
and regulations about medical pot shops in case anyone applied to open
one. Since then, an application for a medical marijuana business
license has been turned into Foster, but it has not been formally
filed with the city.

Foster requested an extension on the moratorium Friday, telling the
council members his staff needed more time to create a regulatory
ordinance. The extension would be for 10 months and 15 days; Foster
said he didn't think additional time would be needed beyond that.

Carole Chapman of Americans for Safe Access, a Grass Valley resident,
was one of only two people who addressed the council during the very
lightly attended meeting.

I'm sorry to hear you're extending the moratorium," she said. "I think
this is something the city needs."

Both Mayor Lisa Swarthout and Vice Mayor Jan Arbuckle pressed Foster
for a quicker end to the moratorium, possibly within four months.

I'd like to bring this matter to a closure, depending on staff time,"
Foster said. "It's my hope to get this done as quick as possible."

The quicker we get something on the books, the better," Swarthout

Councilman Chauncey Poston asked Foster to look into whether a medical
marijuana dispensary could only be located within a medical office

That would cut down on the fears about crime, if it was not in a
downtown retail area," he said.

Proximity to schools and traffic issues were some of the main concerns
Swarthout had received, she said, adding that issuing use permits
might be the most appropriate way to regulate the dispensaries.

In the end, the council voted unanimously to extend the moratorium,
although Swarthout reiterated that she didn't believe it would be in
place for the entire year.

After the vote, Chapman said she was "fine" with the

The sooner, the better," she said. "This will help the community; we
need the revenue." 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake