Pot Clinics & Growing: Yes Or No In San Leandro?

The City Council will consider a staff recommendation that would ultimately lead to a ban on marijuana dispensaries. Where do you stand? Vote in a Patch Poll.


Should San Leandro forbid marijuana dispensaries and/or growing operations, or allow sale and/or cultivation, subject to regulations yet to be written?

A report prepared by the city's staff urges the City Council to just say no to pot when it hold its regular meeting tonight.

Specifically, staff members want council permission to prepare an ordinance that would "prohibit the establishment and operation of medical marijuana cooperatives, collectives, dispensaries and cultivation facilities in the city of San Leandro."

An analysis by police officials paints marijuana as a magnet for crime, a blight upon neighborhoods and a scourge on individuals.

The staff report, which is posted on the city's website, includes these excerpts:

  1. Since 2011, SLPD has seized over 17,627 plants worth over $24 million by police estimates. Add $645,000 of bagged pot, and police have seized about $25 million in contraband.
  2. Approximately 85 percent of the plants seized were grown in residential neighborhoods. Grow homes "are often eyesores in our community."
  3. The report detailed several instances of crime associated with the pot trade, from the gunman who during a stakeout, to the fire on Warwick Street in which a firefighter was injured while fighting a blaze in a .

The staff analysis does not include contradictory research, such as a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs that disputes the "crime magnet" argument.

"Density of medical marijuana dispensaries was not associated with violent or property crime rates," wrote two researchers in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. 

The study looked at dispensaries in Sacramento, according to a story in U.S. News and World Report. It did not deal with growing operations.

Shades of "Reefer Madness"

In the staff analysis being presented to the council, SLPD also makes the case that pot is harmful:

"Research has shown that you are more likely to make a  bad decision while under the influence of marijuana that could include driving a vehicle, making unsafe sexual choices and trying other dangerous drugs. The short term effects from using marijuana include problems concentrating, anxiety, paranoid thoughts, increased heart rate and memory impairment. The long term effects include respiratory problems, mental problems and several studies have shown that if a person uses an addictive substance such  as marijuana before the age of 18, that person is six times more likely to develop a substance  use disorder." 

Such arguments harken back to the theme of "Reefer Madness," the 1936 melodrama about the pernicious effects of marijuana on youth. (A brief clip from the movie is attached as a YouTube video.)

To this day there remains a cultural divide between those who want to keep marijuana illegal, and those who want to legalize and regulate it like alcohol.

Medical marijuana in California is an attempt to straddle that divide.

An analysis by ProCon.org, an organization that compiles arguments on either side of divise issues, offers a look the pros and cons of medical marijuana.

San Leandro's indecision

The city council will also consider the stances taken by other local jurisdictions -- which range from marijuana-friendly Oakland and Berkeley to pot-prohibiting Alameda and Newark. (See attached chart for details.)

San Leandro's lawmakers have gone back and forth on the issue in recent years, mostly in the direction of banning marijuana.

In October 2010, the City Council adopted a 45-day ban on any type of pot facility, and later extended that moratorium until September 30, 2011. 

In February 2011, the council directed staff to  prepare an ordinance prohibiting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Cultivation Facilities. 

But in May 2011 the council put off a decision on a ban and asked a survey of what other cities in Alameda County are doing. At the same time councilmembers extended the moratorium on pot facilities until September 30 of this year.

In essence, what the city staff is urging tonight is that the council make that temporary ban permanent before the moratorium expires.

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Theresa Lupo June 20, 2012 at 05:30 PM
My mother died of cancer at age 50.I know this is off subject but i have an uncle who had rectal cancer & he would make a smoothy (blender drink) of apricot seeds (from the pit)& fruit juice everyday......(natural chemo without the side effects).....the tumor died & he is still alive cancer free 30 years later.God created all the plants for eating, healing, relieving pain & the reason our drug companies & government do not recognize apricot seeds for killing cancer cells is because they cannot patent a natural plant that God created.They can't make any money off that.If they did.......they would regulate just how many apricot trees you are allowed to have in your back yard.
Theresa Lupo June 20, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Hi Summer.....i was reading what you said but i keep looking & laughing about your last name "Hemphill" LOL! How about "Potmound" who lives at 420 Maryjane Lane in Weeds Ca. LOL! Excuse me everyone .....i'm just entertaining myself.....hehehe
Summer Hemphill June 26, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Lemon Grove activists have joined those in Imperial Beach in gathering enough signatures to put measures before the voters to overturn their cities ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. An effort to overturn any ban San Leandro may enact will certainly have widespread support & dire political consequences for the obstructionists when seeking re-election or higher office. Two candidates for the City Council Chris Crow & Dan Dillman are in favor of having regulated dispensaries in compliance with state law in San Leandro & are deserving of our support in their efforts to replace the obstructionists. New leadership at City Hall can fire the City Manager & Police Chief & all those who have been instrumental in providing biased & specious propaganda to support a ban ! It's time for new blood & time to send the old fogies out to pasture where they'll have plenty of time to enjoy the grass !!
Frank Mockery July 03, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Cities can't ban medical marijuana dispensaries !!! In a landmark decision the Second District Court of Appeal issued it's ruling on Monday in County of Los Angeles v Alternative Medicinal Cannabis Collective. The court held that Los Angeles County's "complete ban" on medical marijuana is "preempted" by state law & therefore void ! The court further held that the ban against medical marijuana dispensaries directly contradicts the Legislature's intent & called that contradiction "direct,patent,obvious & palpable". The decision should have considerable impact on how the California Supreme Court rules in the various dispensary cases it's currently reviewing ! As I've said all along cities have no right to obstruct patients "safe & legal access" to medical marijuana,never have,never will. The San Leandro City Council should direct the City Attorney to draw up reasonable regulations regarding their operation for their approval now !
Brash Brazen July 06, 2012 at 10:27 PM
A new study in the August issue of The Journal of School Health concludes that "alcohol" not marijuana is in fact the "gateway drug" for high school students. A high school senior who has ever taken one drink is 13 times more likely to try marijuana or cocaine & 16 times more likely to smoke tobacco than those who haven't ! Ironically the "gateway drug" has actually been lurking in the liquor cabinets & wine cellars of the anti-marijuana zealots who've been consuming it themselves for years !


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