Rocklin City Council Votes To Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
The Rocklin City Council on Thursday in an emergency session voted 5-0 to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, possibly becoming the state's first city to prohibit such establishments, the Sacramento Bee reports. The ban, which took effect immediately, will last for 45 days. Rocklin's Planning Commission and City Council will hear a proposal for a permanent ban and will hold public hearings on the ordinance. The council's action came one day after Stockton resident Doug Hallum asked city employees about opening a dispensary in Rocklin, which had not previously enacted specific regulations on such establishments. Vice Mayor Peter Hill said the dispensaries would prompt illicit drug dealers to operate outside and would increase illicit drug use in the area. "Introducing this into our community, even with the proper controls, (will lead) to the kind of trouble we don't want," Hill said, adding, "We have spent years and years trying to do things in Rocklin that favor a family community." According to the Bee, City Council member George Magnuson initially hesitated to vote for the ban but later agreed because a medical marijuana dispensary operates in nearby Roseville.
City Attorney Russell Hildebrand said the ban is "defensible" because it would not apply to state-sanctioned dispensaries, such as licensed residential care facilities for patients with chronic illnesses. However, Ryan Landers, state director of the American Alliance of Medical Cannabis, said that Rocklin is the first city in the state to enact such a ban and that the measure is discriminatory, illegal and dangerous for patients, according to the Bee. "If you outright ban it, you're just driving it underground," Landers said, adding, "Most communities are willing to work (with business owners) and willing to cooperate." Hallum said he is considering filing a lawsuit to repeal the ban. "I'm going to do whatever I can to make this happen," he said (Minugh, Sacramento Bee, 6/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.