San Pablo Mulls Marijuana Club Ban

San Pablo Mulls Marijuana Club Ban
Posted by CN Staff on May 15, 2005 at 09:42:32 PT
By Tom Lochner
Source: Contra Costa Times
Calif. -- The San Pablo City Council will discuss a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries now that a former council candidate has queried the city about opening one.Espo, who uses a single name, ran last among five council candidates in November, advocating a good Christian attitude and love of sports, God and Billy Graham. But he did not mention marijuana.
He has written the city a letter proposing a "High Times Pot Club in the City of New Directions.""There's a right way to get high and enjoy it with no problems, amigos," Espo said in his letter, which also touches on transportation, Casino San Pablo, Geronimo and Pancho Villa. His wife's mother has cancer and needs medical marijuana, he added."Sooner or later somebody was going to step up to the plate," Espo said in a telephone interview Friday. "I'm glad I did it."Espo's is the only query so far, Planning Manager Albert Lopez and City Attorney Brian Libow said in a report to the council.Current rules would not require Espo to obtain a city permit, they write.Libow told the council members they could enact a 45-day moratorium by a four-fifths vote and then extend it for nearly two years.He said other cities, which he did not name, have seen an upsurge of loitering, burglary, parking and traffic violations, and complaints from neighbors, he said.A moratorium would give the city time to regulate the location and operation of dispensaries and manage safety effects, he said.Kris Hermes, spokesman for the Oakland-based Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana and patient rights advocacy group, said he was not in a position to comment on the seriousness or merit of any individual proposal for a dispensary.However, he said, "In our experience, the vast majority of people who attempt to open a dispensing facility are doing it with integrity, to come to the aid of patients."A city moratorium, Hermes said, is "not the smart way to go.""Moratoriums are punitive against patients. They're not necessary to arrive at sensible regulations. The city has the discretion to say who shall operate and who shall not."In 1996 state voters passed Proposition 215, allowing people to possess and grow marijuana for medical use if a doctor recommends it.Americans for Safe Access has created a sample ordinance. Several cities and counties have enacted ordinances. "That means that there are plenty of places to get information on how to proceed," Hermes said.San Pablo would be at least the third East Bay city to vote on a moratorium this month. Albany's City Council passed a 45-day moratorium May 2. Pinole passed a 12-month one the next day.Moratoriums enacted last year in El Cerrito and Emeryville remain in effect.Source: Contra Costa Times (CA)Author: Tom Lochner, Contra Costa TimesPublished: May 15, 2005Copyright: 2005 Knight RidderContact: letters cctimes.comWebsite:'s For Safe Access Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Post Comment