Email List

To join our e-mail list, please enter your e-mail address. You can unsubscribe at any time.






News, City Council, Santa Monica

Medical Marijuana Regulation In Santa Monica?

Posted Apr. 22, 2014, 9:08 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

A vote will be held at Santa Monica City Hall tonight on whether the City Council should back a proposed State Senate bill that could open the door for regulating medical marijuana dispensaries within the coastal municipality.

As part of the council’s April 22 consent calendar, Santa Monica’s elected officials will be deciding whether to back Senate Bill 1262 (SB1262).

Authored by State Senator Lou Correa, the bill proposes, according to City staff, to “provide a clear road map for the responsible implementation of … the Compassionate Use Act (CUA).”

City staff added the CUA is part of Proposition 215, which decriminalized marijuana use for medical purposes in 1996.

If enacted, SB 1262 would allow for local control of medical marijuana regulation.

Correa’s proposed law does not dictate the policy direction any city could take on medical marijuana. Accordingly, it is up to a city council to determine whether it should ban, permit with regulation, or place a moratorium upon medical marijuana dispensaries.

“The proposal is not a path towards legalization of marijuana,” City staff stated.

Instead, SB 1262, if enacted, would “unconditionally uphold local control.”

The law would also give cities the ability to impose tighter regulations upon doctors who issue medical marijuana recommendations and ensure strict preventative steps are taken to “prevent diversion and recreational use at all medical cannabis facilities.”

Finally, City staff stated SB 1262 also proposes to give cities the ability to “impose uniform health and safety standards as well as quality assurance standards” that would be administered at the county level; the State would also provide oversight of the imposed standards.

City staff is encouraging the council to support SB 1262 “as a positive step forward in seeking to responsibly regulate medical marijuana because of the bill’s focus on local control, public safety, and public health.”

Both the League of California Cities and the California Police Chiefs Assoc. support SB 1262. According to City staff, both groups support the proposed law as a means “to create a Statewide regulatory structure for medical marijuana that is focused on public safety and a health-based approach.”

Should the council vote on supporting SB 1262, City staff will send notice to Santa Monica’s lobbyists and elected officials in Sacramento expressing the support.

Voters approved Proposition 215 in the November 1996 election.

“The intent of Proposition 215 was to enable people in need of medical marijuana for specified medical purposes, to obtain and use it under limited specified circumstances,” City staff stated.

Proposition 215 was enhanced in 2003 with the passage of the Medical Marijuana Program Act, or MMPA. The new law created a State-approved medical marijuana identification card program. As part of the program, certain immunities from the State’s marijuana laws were granted to those who had State-approved identification cards.

Despite the existence of Proposition 215 and the MMPA, certain loopholes still existed, with City staff stating both laws fell short of “establishing the broader regulatory framework” necessary to fully implement the voter-approved initiative.

“Both pieces of legislation leave numerous questions unanswered as to how these provision should be implemented, particularly in regard to the distribution of medical marijuana through … dispensary facilities,” City staff stated.

It was the hope of Correa and others supporting the bill that SB 1262 would address the “numerous questions unanswered.”

Locally, the Santa Monica City Council in August 2013 extended for year a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. As part of the moratorium extension, the council directed City staff to look into developing “responsible standards” within the Zoning Ordinance to regulate such dispensaries.

At a Planning Commission meeting in February, City staff discussed new information with commissioners and recommended the Draft Zoning Ordinance not authorize medical marijuana dispensaries. However, the commissioners decided to indeed recommend dispensaries be authorized by the Draft Zoning Ordinance.

While council members will be specifically voting on whether to support Correa’s bill, an actual policy discussion of whether medical marijuana dispensaries should exist within Santa Monica is expected to take place in the fall.

Since the question of whether to support SB 1262 is a consent calendar item, it could be possible there is no discussion on the dais on this topic. Just the same, the agenda item will be considered early on in the meeting, so those who want to comment on whether or the council should support the bill should arrive at City Hall no later than 6:30 pm.

Post a comment


Apr. 22, 2014, 12:31:45 pm

Card carrying member said...

Might as well get some of that tax money! It's not like Santa Monicans aren't driving 1 block into LA and legally buying it. Be the progressive, forward thinking city that you are.

Apr. 22, 2014, 10:34:52 pm

Paul Bennett said...

Please. To call it "medical marijuana" is a joke. Think of how many people you know with real medical need vs. those you know with "glaucoma". I don't think anyone should be in jail for it but get control of it so kids aren't selling in front of wrestling coaches.

Apr. 23, 2014, 5:38:32 pm

Melody Cervantes said...

The effects of a neighbor's "Medical Marijuana" use has caused my 8 year old son to be hospitalized 3 times in the past few months. He is highly allergic and is asthmatic. The smell of some of the marijuana triggers him to have migraine headaches and asthma attacks. We have tried to get the neighbors to ingest it instead of smoke it but there is nothing that can be done. SB332 or Civil Code section 1947.5 prohibits the smoking of tobacco products but mentions nothing about Marijuana. Air purifiers do not help and the property owners say their hands are tied. How do you deny one person "medication" even at the cost of the health of a child.

Sep. 30, 2015, 11:03:44 am

Eduardo said...

EAZE, Technology platform that enables medical marijuana patients to get products delivered to their door in about 20 minutes quickly, easy, safe and professional. For all the first time users, if you use Promo Code: JOY688 u will receive $35 off yours first order. This is how Eaze works just follow a couple steps to get started: Step 1: Sign in and create an account for free. Step 2: Insert your medical marijuana card number to your account. If you don't have medical marijuana cards Eaze MD will connect you with a doctor in the comfort of your home. Step 3: After finding what u need request delivery on line and use promo code: Joy688 for $35 off your order. Step 4: Eaze passes the order to local partnering dispensary online. Step 5: Nearest Driver will be assign to deliver your product. Step 6: The customer pays the delivery driver in person as he delivers the order correctly. website lets you browse through a hi-resolution menu of our partners cannabis products, complete with in depth descriptions and lab results to help you find the perfect medicine.

SM Mirror TV