Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Extended

A moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and the distribution of the substance within Temple City has been extended.

The City Council unanimously supported prolonging the ban for an additional 10 months and 15 days at its meeting on Tuesday, June 2, 2009.

Marina Drabkin, an independent medical consultant, again testified in opposition to continuing the current prohibition. Drabkin’s case for a medical marijuana dispensary in Temple City had prompted the City Council to enact the urgency ordinance in April.

Enacted on April 21, urgency ordinance 09-926U prevents the establishing or operating of a marijuana dispensary in Temple City. After hearing from Drabkin, councilman Tom Chavez stated his support for the ordinance, noting there were still many questions surrounding the business.

Councilman Fernando Vizcarra agreed. He added that additional legal advice was needed on the issue.

Earlier, the Planning Commission had recommended creating an ordinance prohibiting the business. The emergency ordinance also had the backing of Community Development Manager Joseph Lambert.

Public Safety Officer Brian Ariizumi said at the April 21 council meeting that cities with medical marijuana dispensaries did experience an increase in crime. He cited the cities of West Hollywood and Walnut as examples.

However, medical marijuana could also bring desperately needed tax revenues to Temple City, claimed Drabkin on April 21. Drabkin pointed to the city of Santa Monica. Her attorney,  Anthony Curicle, who appeared at the April council meeting, was not present on June 2. The moratorium will remain on the city’s law books, at least until April 2010.

Also on Tuesday night, the City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance banning smoking from city parks.


This article was written by Randy Shun. It was published in the Temple City Voice today.


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