Groups Gather Signatures To Fight Pot Dispensary Rules

Opponents Of Medical Marijuana Collective Regulations Say They Have Enough Signatures To Stop Ordinances

Opponents of San Diego's new restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries announced Friday they have gathered enough signatures to halt implementation the city's new zoning and public safety ordinances.

Stephen McCamman of Citizens for Patients Rights said his group and other activist organizations had collected 46,141 signatures, more than 15,000 above the required number, to force the city to allow medical cannabis collectives to operate under previous regulations.

The city clerk's office will begin to verify the signatures on Tuesday by contacting 3 percent of the people who signed the petition.

If the signatures are deemed valid, the City Council will have to decide whether to repeal the zoning amendment to the Land Development ordinance or put it to a vote at the next election scheduled for June 2012.

"Medical cannabis collectives create millions of dollars of economic activity to the city and hundreds of thousands in tax revenue," McCamman said. "In this economic downturn, we think the city will see the wisdom of increasing economic activity rather than stifling it."

The zoning and public safety ordinances passed on April 12 confined marijuana dispensaries to light industrial and commercial zones in San Diego, and at least 600 feet from residences, schools and other so-called sensitive areas.

They also required operators to get a conditional use permit, which could take thousands of dollars and as long as two years to obtain.

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