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Pot Dispensary Ban Could Become Reality In San Jose

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Marijuana leaves (AP Graphic)

(AP)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A plan to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in San Jose could be going up in smoke. In fact, there was a chance the City Council would impose an outright ban when it considered the issue at its meeting Tuesday afternoon.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Some elected officials were, quite simply, burned out over the issue.

“I’m certainly fed up with it,” declared Mayor Chuck Reed. “I think the council has reached the point where they’re tired of dealing with it because we don’t fully know what the law is. We have different opinions about what the law is and when we try to figure that out it gets really complicated and frustrating to everybody involved.”

Councilmembers have been debating how to best approach the estimated 120 dispensaries currently operating within city limits. Some have proposed simply reducing the number of dispensaries, but there seemed to be little consensus on how many dispensaries should be allowed to continue – 10, 15, 30 or some other number altogether.

“If we can’t get it resolved in a reasonable fashion then I’ll be supporting a ban,” Reed warned. “They’re currently illegal in San Jose. All of the 100 or so marijuana dispensaries that are operating are operating illegally so a ban wouldn’t be anything new but it would allow us to take some time to see if the Attorney General or the Supreme Court or somebody will clarify what the law is.

District 6 councilman Pierluigi Oliverio countered that an outright ban would be a mistake.

“I think that Proposition 215, passed by the voters of California, is the law of the state. So I think a ban would only present itself to what we’ve seen in other cities which are lawsuits and places going underground,” he theorized. “I think a ban is problematic because it will, number one, take away those who really need medical cannabis for their ailments, multiple sclerosis, AIDS or cancer. And, drive it underground, which isn’t what we want.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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