Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Placer County Nixed
The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to prohibit marijuana dispensaries, collectives and cooperatives from setting up shop in unincorporated areas of the county.
Board members based the decision on three findings:
· Marijuana dispensaries tend to have detrimental impacts on community health, safety and welfare, including increases in crimes such as illegal drug activity, robberies of people leaving dispensaries, loitering, use of fraudulent identification cards, and dispensary burglaries. The finding was based in part on a “White Paper on Marijuana Dispensaries” put out by the California Police Chiefs Association.
· The board action is consistent with provisions of state law that allow the use of medical marijuana when recommended by physicians. The prohibition on marijuana dispensaries, collectives and cooperatives in unincorporated areas of Placer County will not affect an individual’s right to cultivate and possess medical marijuana and will not prevent primary health care providers from dispensing medical marijuana to patients.
· The board action is consistent with federal law, which prohibits the cultivation, possession and distribution of marijuana.
Board members also voted to clarify that the production and composting of cannabis is not included in the county definitions of “crop production” and “agricultural processing.”
The county began researching the issue in response to requests for business licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries.
In a presentation to the board, county staff emphasized that Tuesday’s action will not affect the ability of facilities such as hospices and residential care facilities to provide marijuana to their residents in accordance with state law.
Staff also emphasized the issue before board members Tuesday was whether medical marijuana businesses should be permitted as land uses in Placer County, not whether the board supports or opposes the use of medical marijuana as allowed under state law.
Board members voted 4-1 to approve the prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries as a permitted land use.
The board also decided the county should continue studying the issue and consider potential refinements to the action taken Tuesday. Supervisor Jim Holmes emphasized he wants time to review new information presented by the public during Tuesday’s meeting.
Fifth District Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery cast the dissenting vote, asking for a moratorium on allowing medical marijuana dispensaries while the county continues reviewing the issue. Supervisor Montgomery emphasized that the municipal advisory councils in her district all took slightly different positions on the issue, but all opposed prohibiting dispensaries as recommended by county staff.
“All five MACs were united in being opposed to what the county is proposing today,” Supervisor Montgomery said.
The 5th District stretches from North Auburn to North Lake Tahoe.
In January, the Planning Commission voted 5-1 to recommend approval of the proposed prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries.
Supervisor Montgomery said adopting a temporary moratorium would allow the county to review alternatives and await the fate of a marijuana initiative that will face the state’s voters in November.
The initiative generally would allow anyone at least 21 years old to possess, cultivate and transport marijuana for personal use and would permit local governments to regulate and tax the commercial production and sale of marijuana.
The initiative would set some restrictions on marijuana use by individuals who meet the age requirement. For example, they would be prohibited from providing it to anyone who is younger than 21 and from smoking it on school grounds, in public and while minors are present.
Supervisor Rocky Rockholm, a retired sergeant from the Roseville Police Department, said a marijuana cooperative in Roseville created major problems while he was on the City Council in 2004.
“I just don’t want to open a door here,” he said while expressing his support for a prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries.
“The permitting of medical marijuana collectives, collectives and dispensaries by local governments as a legal use or business is both a public policy issue and a contentious legal issue,” explained a report to the board by Michael J. Johnson, director of the county’s Community Development Resource Agency.
California has allowed the use of medical marijuana since the state’s voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996. Also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the measure decriminalized the cultivation and use of marijuana by seriously ill individuals when its use is recommended by physicians.
Under federal law, possession of any marijuana is a misdemeanor and cultivation is a felony. Last year, however, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced the Justice Department would not prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries that operate legally under existing state laws.
“The reaction of counties and municipalities to this situation has been decidedly mixed,” Johnson said in his report.
He reported that eight counties and about 120 cities in California have banned dispensaries and nine counties and about 30 cities have adopted ordinances regulating dispensaries. Others have adopted moratoriums that allow them to continue studying the issue and considering potential long-term options.
Tuesday’s board action will not affect the county’s identification card program for patients who qualify for medical marijuana use under state law and their primary caregivers. The program is part of a voluntary statewide identification system maintained by the California Department of Public Health.
About 70 people currently have identification cards issued by Placer County.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It
Placer County News Headlines396 Years to Life for Roaming RapistDereck Jermaine Sanders known as the Roaming Rapist has been sentenced to 396 years to life in prison.
Seniors First's Cafés Nourish Bodies and SpiritsDuring a rainy winter, when inclement weather can preclude a trip to the store or local food closet, it's important to remind the elderly and their families that there are local options available
Business Executive Fighting Lou Gehrig's DiseaseAbout five years ago, Todd Neva, now of Hancock, Michigan, began having trouble lifting his daughter from her carseat. Over time,
$226,278 Raised in Dutch Bros. Buck for Kids DayOn Friday, Dec. 5, Dutch Bros. Coffee and customers banded together to raise $226,278 for children on the company's annual Buck for Kids Day.
Roseville 5th Graders Provide Inspiration to PatientsEach month, fifth-grade students from Stoneridge Elementary School's Leadership Club visit Sutter Rehabilitation Institute (SRI) in Roseville to visit patients.
Rocklin Unified's Beleaguered Special Ed Program Seeks ChangeThe Rocklin Unified School District has contracted with WestED to perform a study on its beleaguered Special Education department.
Roseville Charity Hearts that Care Partners with Placer SIUOn December 17th, 2014, The Placer County Special Investigation Unit (SIU), a Placer County Law Enforcement Task Force comprised of State and local Placer County law enforcement
Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (12.19.14)Crime report digest update for Roseville California, December 19, 2014
Food for 400,000 Meals Raised for Placer Food BankThunder Valley Casino Resort and Whitney Oaks Golf Club have collected over 50,000 pounds of food for Placer Food Bank food drive.
Rocklin Man Victim of Elder Abuse and ID TheftLaura Kirkwood, 23 years old of Sacramento, was arrested and booked at the Placer County Jail on suspicion of elder abuse and ID theft of a 74 year old Rocklin man.
Shocking Find in Colfax Storage Unit: Human RemainsA woman called the Placer County Sheriff's Office to report a foul odor coming from an abandoned storage unit that she had just purchased through an auction
Napa Valley's New Year's Eve Bash in CalistogaCome celebrate the New Year with the return of Celebrate! Napa Valley's New Year's Eve Bash on Dec. 31, 2014 at 10 p.m. in Calistoga, Calif.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It