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Filner Orders Enforcement Officers to Stop Targeting Marijuana Dispensaries

Mayor Bob Filner asked officers "to stop sending dispensary code enforcement cases to the City Attorney's Office for prosecution."

City code enforcement officers and police will no longer target medical marijuana dispensaries under a directive issued Thursday by Mayor Bob Filner.

Filner, in letters to Kelly Broughton, director of the Development Services Department, which oversees code compliance, and San Diego police Chief William Landsdowne, also directed both of their departments "to stop sending dispensary code enforcement cases to the City Attorney's Office for prosecution."

"To be clear, if there are general code enforcement or health and safety issues arising from these businesses, you are expected to enforce those laws against these businesses in the same manner you would any other business," the mayor wrote.

In a statement issued late today, he said he wanted "to assure the residents of San Diego that there will be the utmost safeguards surrounding these dispensaries. They will not be near schools, playgrounds or any areas where children might gather, nor will they be allowed to infringe on the quality of life in any neighborhood."

Filner added, "I believe that in order to be a great city, we must also be a humane city and show compassion for those who need help in dealing with chronic pain."

He said he'll soon bring a proposed ordinance to regulate the dispensaries before the City Council.

The decision to halt the enforcement of medical marijuana comes a few days after Filner spoke to Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana group, and promised a multi-track approach to support their cause.

Among other things, he promised to get the City Council to pass an ordinance that allows the distribution of marijuana for medical purposes, and try to convince District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy to "back off" prosecutions of dispensary owners.

On Wednesday, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith told the mayor in a memo that he could prevent medical marijuana prosecutions "in less than 30 seconds" by issuing directives to the code compliance office and SDPD.

Goldsmith said his office would halt court action against dispensaries if requested by those two departments.

The City Council implemented land-use policies two years ago that allowed dispensaries in certain locations, but medical marijuana advocates considered them too restrictive and collected enough signatures to get the ordinances rescinded. That move, however, had the effect of making dispensaries illegal and well over 100 were subsequently shut down in the region.

-City News Service

Kathy January 11, 2013 at 05:26 AM
Filner doesn't want to be harassed when he goes into the Dispenser to get his Marijuana. Filner is a complete IDIOT, and an Ugly one at that!
FlyingTooLow January 11, 2013 at 05:26 PM
I am not here to regulate other people's lives...nor do I need other people trying to regulate my time here on earth...so long as I bring no harm to my fellow man or his property With all of the rhetoric surrounding the marijuana debate, the concept most overlooked: Freedom of the individual. “…over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign”.” — from the essay On Liberty by John Stuart Mill What happened to, "This is a FREE country"? That is what we have been telling the rest of the world for decades. Please, let us live up to it. Lead by example.
FlyingTooLow January 11, 2013 at 05:27 PM
I smoked my first joint in December, 1967, at the tender age of 21. Now, a mere 44 years later, I still smoke pot. I have never 'graduated' to 'harder' drugs. Nor, have I ever harmed anyone. I am living proof that this prohibitionist propaganda is a fallacy...a blatant lie. The worst experience I had with marijuana was spending 5 years in Federal Prison for a pot offense. While there, I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 20 months. When I went to the parole board after more than 3 years 'behind the wall,' I pointed this out to the panel members. Their response: "You must understand that yours was a very serious offense." I laughed about that for another 2 years (as I still sat in prison)...then wrote my book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank. I would be honored by your review.

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