San Jose Police Chief Expects Licenses To Diminish Pot Club Violence

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A vial of medical marijuana

Marijuana is poured from a jar at at medical marijuana dispensary. (David McNew/Getty Images)

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The San Jose city council’s move to dramatically restrict the number of medical marijuana collectives should greatly reduce the crime and violence associated with some of the unlicensed clubs, said Police Chief Chris Moore.

Moore predicted a dramatically changed landscape after the council vote Tuesday to cap the number of pot clubs at 10.

“Some of the violence associated with some of the clubs will diminish,” Moore said, as the city’s code enforcement division notifies the estimated 125 clubs in the city they will have to apply for permits to stay in business.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Moore said many of the existing clubs’ operations violate Prop 215, the voter-approved initiative legalizing medical cannabis in California.

The city has asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for advice on how the Obama administration’s current guidelines for enforcing federal drug laws will affect the San Jose permitting process.

Meanwhile, Moore said he must grapple with how a smaller police force will enforce the city’s medical marijuana law. City code enforcers will handle zoning violations, but criminal violations will fall within police jurisdiction.

“The reality for us is we are going to see fewer officers on the street available for investigation, so any additional work load is going to be difficult,” Moore said.

He expects hundreds of officers to be laid off because of the city’s $150 million deficit.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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