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San Jose Waits For State To Rule On Pot Clubs

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A vial of medical marijuana

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

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Many California cities, including San Jose, are facing a dilemma when it comes to medical marijuana, trying to balance state and federal laws.

The latest California city to take a stand is Los Angeles, as the city council voted unanimously this week to close all registered pot clubs.

However, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is taking a wait-and-see approach.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

“You’re trying to cope with something that is legal under a very unclear state law and illegal under federal law,” he said.

Reed estimates there are between 50 and 100 marijuana dispensaries in San Jose. A year ago, the San Jose City Council adopted an ordinance to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and limit the number that could exist in the city, but rescinded the law, awaiting a ruling from the state Supreme Court to clarify the issue.

“It is clear that many of the operations in San Jose and apparently in Los Angeles are selling recreational drugs,” said Reed. “That’s not what we’re trying to facilitate.”

Enforcement efforts in San Jose are focused on clubs causing the most trouble, those that are operating as nuisances and facilities that are not paying their taxes.

Under Los Angeles’ ban, all 762 dispensaries that have registered with the city will be sent a letter ordering them to shut down immediately. Those that don’t comply could face legal action from the city.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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