Enforcement will mostly be complaint based, officials say
SAN JOSE, CA — The San Jose City Council agreed Tuesday to agreed to rescind a medical marijuana ordinance that was passed in September, and then repealed via a citizens’ referendum, that would have limited the number of medical marijuana collectives to 10 within the city. The ordinance would have also restricted collectives to industrial and commercial areas of the city.
The decision to repeal the city’s medical marijuana regulations was made on a recommendation by Mayor Chuck Reed and council members Sam Liccardo, Rose Herrera and Pierluigi Oliverio. Mayor Reed would prefer to wait until the state implements a regulatory system before crafting a city ordinance.
“Reluctantly, I find myself agreeing with the mayor’s memo today that perhaps now is not the time for San Jose to craft a workable ordinance,” said James Anthony, chairman of the Citizens Coalition for Patient Care. “We are shifting our attention to the statewide level.”
The coalition is hoping for uniform statewide regulations of dispensaries, Anthony added. “There’s no reason for patients to not have local access.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra voiced his support for medical marijuana and the rights of dispensaries.
“It shows the hypocrisy that we have in this country when it comes to drug policy,” Kalra said. “Prescription drugs that are proven to be more damaging than medical marijuana are approved at the federal level and with ‘Big Pharma.’”
Mayor Reed and Councilmember Sam Liccardo reminded people that it is ultimately up to state and federal law to regulate medical marijuana.
In the wake of federal raids on California’s largely unregulated medical marijuana industry, many city officials and patient rights activists statewide have been asking Sacramento lawmakers to pass state-wide regulation guidelines.
Until that happens, the San Jose City Council has decided to focus enforcement efforts on collectives that are causing the most problems and generating complaints, including those that are not paying taxes and those that are too close to schools under state law.
Medical marijuana facilities are not technically allowed to operate in San Jose and those that have opened are doing so illegally, officials said, although the city does impose a 7% tax on marijuana sales.