This Tuesday the Mountain View City Council may decide to follow the lead of other cities in the area and impose an "interim urgency ordinance prohibiting the establishment and operation of medical marijuana facilities."
Up for a vote is whether the city should enact a 45 day interim ordinance prohibiting marijuana dispensaries "for time to study the
issue in more detail with the goal of finding a long-term, permanent regulatory solution," writes assistant city attorney Krishan Chopra in the city staff report. The report says that six of the council's seven members must vote for the ordinance for it to take effect.
Gilroy, Los Gatos, Saratoga and Los Altos have already passed interim dispensary prohibition ordinances, the report notes.
As the Voice reported a week ago there are several groups interested in opening a marijuana dispensary in Mountain View, including one proposed in the Shoreline area, and city staff say they have noticed an increase in interest from potential operators. But despite the positive effects proponents say a dispensary would have for patients suffering from numerous ailments, city staff say that a dispensary would cause problems for Mountain View that have been observed in other Bay Area cities.
Other Bay Area "cities report an increase in illegal activity, illegal sales of other drugs, robberies, identity falsification, fraudulent resale of marijuana, loitering and other crimes directly related to the operations of the dispensaries," the staff report says. "Some cities also report the need for increased police responses and increased maintenance of streets and sidewalks related to the operations at dispensaries. In 2009, the California Police Chiefs Association issued a white paper detailing the many negative secondary effects associated with medical marijuana dispensaries. The white paper contains anecdotal and documented evidence that medical marijuana dispensaries pose a threat to public health safety and welfare. The city believes many of the reported negative secondary effects associated with dispensaries could occur in the city."
If enacted, after 45 days the council could decide to extend the interim prohibition another 22 months and 15 days if a permanent solution is not found.
The report briefly dicusses state and federal medical marijuana laws and describes how the state outlines the way a medical marijuana dispensary should operate, which includes a law against making a profit, among others.
The city staff report also notes that there is no zoning for a medical marijuana dispensary in Mountain View and that as the city updates its general plan, the city "does not want to take an action regarding uses such as medical marijuana dispensaries, which may also be in conflict with (land use) policies being developed."
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 9 in the council chambers on the second floor of City Hall at the corner of Mercy and Castro streets.