Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jul 2012
Source: North County Times (Escondido, CA)
Copyright: 2012 North County Times
Author: David Ogul

Solana Beach:


Solana Beach is a step closer to allowing medical marijuana 
dispensaries within its borders.

The city clerk's office has notified backers of dispensaries that 
they've collected enough valid signatures to force the City Council 
to either adopt new rules allowing for the businesses or put the 
matter to a public vote.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. on July 25 to discuss the issue.

"We're excited to have qualified the compassionate use ballot measure 
in Solana Beach and are very appreciative of the City Council and 
city clerk for scheduling a special meeting to address this important 
issue before the August 10 deadline to submit ballot measures for the 
November ballot," said James Schmachtenberger of the Patient Care 
Association of California.

The group is working with Citizens for Patients Rights to push 
medical marijuana initiatives in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Encinitas, 
Lemon Grove and La Mesa.

Last month, the Del Mar city clerk validated petitions submitted 
there, and the City Council will take up the matter on Wednesday night.

Lemon Grove took up the matter Tuesday night. The Patients Rights 
group plans to submit petitions to the Encinitas city clerk's office 
Wednesday morning.

Under the initiatives, dispensaries could not operate within 600 feet 
of a school or playground and would have to be at least 1,000 feet 
from one another. The city would collect a 2.5 percent tax on all 
marijuana sales, and money would have to be deposited into the general fund.

The U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego released a statement Tuesday 
reiterating that marijuana use is illegal under federal law. That 
agency has taken enforcement action against scores of dispensaries in 
San Diego and Imperial counties and more than 200 have since closed.

"City employees who conduct activities mandated by the ordinance are 
not immune from liability under the (Controlled Substances Act). The 
United States Attorney's Office will evaluate all potential civil and 
criminal enforcement actions on a case-by-case basis in light of the 
priorities of the Department of Justice and the (U.S. Attorney's 
Office's) available resources."

More than 55 percent of state voters in 1996 approved the use of 
medical marijuana in California.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom