Source:   Ventura County Star (CA)
Contact:    Wed, 04 Feb 1998
Author:  Billie Owens, Staff Writer


Law would make it impossible to buy medical marijuana.

The Thousand Oaks City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to write a city ordinance
to regulate medicinal marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The vote -- Councilwoman Elois Zeanah voted no -- came a day after a civil
lawsuit was filed by Ventura County prosecutors.  The lawsuit alleges the
operators of the Rainbow Country Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center are
engaged in "unlawful, unfair and fraudulent" acts that violate state and
federal law.  The center's operators, Thousand Oaks residents Andrea Nagy
and Robert Carson, are the defendants. The action alleges the center is a
public nuisance and that "great or irreparable injury would result to the
public" if the business remains open.

With about 75 people in the audience, the council voted to:

Establish an ordinance regulating medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

Declare that medicinal marijuana dispensary is not a permitted use in any zone.

"This ordinance makes it impossible to obtain medical marijuana," Zeanah
said. "It will force people to go to the criminal element."

Earlier, Zeanah and Linda Parks sought to table the zoning recommendations
until the case filed by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office is

Mayor Michael Markey and Councilman Andy Fox disagreed with that plan. They
said the council needs to safeguard the health and safety of residents
regardless of what a judge or court elsewhere decides.

"We're looking at (the possibility) of operators coming into Thousand Oaks,
and my concern is that we send a very clear message that these types of
business won't be allowed," Fox said before the meeting.

City Attorney Mark Sellers said the city's actions deal with zoning and the
prosecutor's case is about possible state health and safety code
violations, which he called "two entirely different things."

District Attorney Michael D. Bradbury said Monday the state Legislature
must approve guidelines to implement 1996's Proposition 215, an initiative
that allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Along with asking the court to shut down Nagy's operation, prosecutors want
Nagy and Carson to pay a combined $100,000 in fines and legal and
investigative fees.

The suit also asks that the Ventura County Sheriff's Department be allowed
to seize the business and its contents and sell the furniture, fixtures and
movable property seized from the business.

The center, at 3617 Thousand Oaks Blvd., has been open since September.
Nagy, a 28-year-old legal secretary, has vigorously fought efforts to close
her center.

Also voting in favor of the measure was Councilwoman Judy Lazar.