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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 15,318
No pot for Christmas [CA]
    #5104896 - 12/25/05 04:12 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

No pot for Christmas
December 25, 2005 - thedesertsun.com

In a meeting notable for its brevity and lack of controversy, the Palm Desert City Council on Saturday passed a 45-day moratorium on the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The vote was 4-0, with Councilman Buford Crites absent.

"The city is going to develop its own regulations," said Mayor Jim Ferguson. "I want to see people who need treatment get treatment."

The moratorium may be extended for up to two years, but Ferguson envisions the city having regulations in place by April.

"I don't think we're using the moratorium as a subterfuge for a ban," he said.

The Christmas Eve meeting was triggered by the possibility of an unlicensed dispensary opening today on Highway 111. Pierre Werner of Las Vegas, a medical marijuana user and advocate, had announced Friday he would open a dispensary at 74-273 Highway 111 on Christmas Day and distribute medical marijuana to qualified patients for free.

Werner spoke briefly at the meeting, praising the council for not banning dispensaries altogether and stating his willingness to abide by any regulations it adopts.

"I'm disappointed," Werner said after the meeting. "(But) I hope to work with the council in the new year."

He canceled the Christmas Day opening but said he plans to move from Nevada to the Coachella Valley in January. Werner has also applied for a business license to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 74-900 Highway 111 in Indian Wells. The Indian Wells City Council passed a 45-day moratorium on dispensaries on Dec. 15.


The Palm Desert moratorium has support from area medical marijuana advocates like Lanny Swerdlow, director of the Marijuana Antiprohibition Project.

"I'm glad the Palm Desert City Council (is) going in a reasonable, rational way (toward allowing dispensaries)," he said. "I don't want to see a proliferation (of unlicensed dispensaries) while you develop regulations."

The city already has one unlicensed dispensary, CannaHelp, on El Paseo. Ferguson said it will not be affected by the moratorium because it is already in operation.


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