South Tahoe City Councilman attempts to push dispensary ban |

South Tahoe City Councilman attempts to push dispensary ban

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – An attempt to speed up a potential ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in South Lake Tahoe fell flat this week.

During comments at the end of Tuesday’s city council meeting, Councilman Bruce Grego suggested a special meeting should be held within the next 10 days to discuss the possible ban, but did not receive support from any other council member.

Grego said the city has been to slow to address issues related to medical marijuana in the city. He questioned the need for medical marijuana among many of the people who use the dispensaries and said collectives pose a risk to the community.

“This is a greater danger to us than the Angora fire,” Grego said.

City Councilman Bill Crawford said he didn’t have the “vaguest idea” why Grego suggested the special meeting on Tuesday.

He pointed to a committee formed to discuss regulating medical marijuana cultivation, as well as fire inspections of each of the medical marijuana collectives in South Lake Tahoe at the start of the month as evidence that the city has taken issues surrounding medical marijuana seriously.

Councilmembers were also advised by an outside attorney during an Aug. 30 closed session meeting that the safest option, legally, would be to extend the current moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries for another year, Crawford said.

If the city moves forward with a ban, it’s possible it could be financially responsible for business investments made by the owners of the dispensaries because the collectives have been issued business licenses,Crawford said.

Grego’s call for the special meeting came at the end of a meeting when about a dozen people spoke in opposition to medical marijuana dispensaries.

Most of the speakers said they supported giving seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana, but expressed concerns about the abuse of California’s medical marijuana laws and the effect on the community.

City Attorney Patrick Enright has said the city council is likely to resume discussion on the possible ban of medical marijuana dispensaries following the drafting of an ordinance regulating the cultivation of medical marijuana in South Lake Tahoe.

The committee formed to develop language for a cultivation ordinance will meet for the second time at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15 at Lake Tahoe Airport. The committee meetings are open to the public.

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