In a vote on Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban medical marijuana dispensaries on unincorporated county land, surrounding San Jose and other South Bay Cities.
Following San Jose’s adoption of strict pot regulations, which severely limited the number of marijuana dispensaries that could operate within city limits, Santa Clara County officials became worried that many would move into unincorporated parts of the county. The vote imposes a moratorium until the Board can decide on a long-term solution. It takes effect Sept. 25.
For patients who treat themselves with medical marijuana, as well as proponents of the plant, this is just another step backward for California marijuana legislation.
Despite the new limits, many marijuana users are under the hope that legislation similar to that passed in Colorado and Washington to legalize recreational marijuana will pass in California in 2016.
This notion doesn’t seem lost on county supervisors who issued a statement saying, “A major concern is that if recreational marijuana use is legalized in California, medical marijuana dispensaries would be the first point of distribution. Restricting the location of dispensaries will help limit youth access to marijuana.”
However, the real concern among medical marijuana advocates is for the sick who need access to the dispensaries for medicinal purposes. Many see a ban as an illogical move that speaks to the Board’s lack of knowledge about medical marijuana. Dale Grangier, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)’s California chapter, said, “It’s disappointing that the supervisors don’t feel competent to regulate dispensaries the way other Bay Area counties have done.”
Supervisor Dan Cortese has said that he has told his staff to monitor the situation, and that he would revisit the decision if it becomes an issue for patients.
Read more at KTVU’s website.