SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Medical marijuana advocates submitted nearly 49,000 signatures on Friday to qualify a referendum that would repeal San Jose’s restrictions on cannabis dispensaries.

The Citizens Coalition for Patient Care hopes to undo a package of zoning regulations that limit how and where pot dispensaries can operate in the city of San Jose.

The repeal effort also hopes to overturn the city council’s decision to cap the number of pot clubs initially to just 10.

Mayor Chuck Reed said it was important the city reign in the nearly 100 medical marijuana dispensaries that had been operating illegally in order to establish operating principals for the licensed clubs.

“First we need to get control and demonstrate that the system works,” Reed said.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

Although the Santa Clara elections officials still must verify the signatures, City Clerk Dennis Hawkins says the activists need just 29,653 from registered voters to put the referendum on the ballot for the next regularly scheduled municipal election.

The United Food and Commercial Workers helped gather those signatures.

“We see this as an assault on workers’ rights,” said Matthew Whitmeyer, a spokesman for the union.

If the ballot measure is confirmed, the city council also has the option to schedule a special election, or to repeal the regulations by a council vote.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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