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Roseville Council Sets Down Rules for Operators of Medical Pot Shops


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Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Author: Jennifer K. Morita -- Bee Staff Writer
Published: Friday, May 21, 2004
Copyright: 2004 The Sacramento Bee
Contact: [email protected]

The Roseville City Council has adopted an emergency ordinance to regulate where and how medical marijuana shops can operate. The ordinance contains a provision to have Police Chief Joel Neves come back in six months with a report on the new law's results.

"This is new territory for us," Councilwoman Gina Garbolino said at Wednesday's meeting. "But we do need to have some defensible ordinance."

The council unanimously approved an ordinance that permits medical marijuana shops to operate only in some commercial and industrial areas and stipulates they must be at least 500 feet from churches, schools, parks, homes and other "sole source pharmacies."

In addition, operating hours are limited to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; stores must post a notice stating no marijuana may be smoked, ingested or consumed on the premises; and the use or sale of any drug paraphernalia is prohibited.

The city's first marijuana dispensary, Capitol Compassionate Care, opened in January, and since then, other groups have shown interest in setting up shop in Roseville.

John Vertido, a registered nurse, told the council he opposes having medical marijuana stores in Roseville.

"Marijuana, to me, has no redeeming social value," Vertido said. "It leads to further drug abuse, whether it's alcohol or harder drugs such as heroin or cocaine. ... Medically, from what I've seen, marijuana has worked in some cases, but not all.

"This is something we do not want and do not need and should not have in our community."

But resident Joe Alameida objected to the new ordinance's limited operating hours, saying they make it difficult for people who work to visit the shop.

"This should be treated no differently than those businesses that sell alcohol, tobacco or firearms," Alameida said. "You don't limit alcohol sales from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m."

Alameida's wife, Kathy, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and uses medical marijuana to treat some of her symptoms.

"Since there was no facility that sold medical marijuana in the area, we were forced to get our supply on the street," Alameida said. "But I was willing to do anything if it helped her."

When Capitol Compassionate Care opened, Alameida visited the store six times before securing a single ounce of marijuana.

"Every precaution was taken to ensure that this was a legitimate recommendation from a legitimate doctor," Alameida said. "I implore members of the council to consider your actions carefully. Have compassion for those of us who are just trying to ease the pain and suffering of our loved ones."

Councilman Jim Gray suggested extending the operating hours to 6 p.m.

Chief Neves, however, said Roseville's ordinance was less restrictive than other cities', which have limited hours to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"The purpose is to limit the hours they're open while kids are out of school and in the vicinity of the store," Neves said, adding that the stores are allowed to be open on weekends.

Related Articles & Web Site:

California NORML

Medicinal Cannabis Research Links

Roseville Plan Would Limit New Pot Shops

City Adds Medical Pot Restrictions

The Pot Shop - Roseville Press-Tribune



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