Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Banned Permanently in Menifee

The City of Menifee tonight enacted a permanent ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. Two years ago, the City enacted a temporary, two yea...

The City of Menifee tonight enacted a permanent ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Two years ago, the City enacted a temporary, two year ban, which is scheduled to end on June 15, 2011. The City Council opened up a public hearing this evening to hear arguments, pro and con, on making that ban permanent.

Several residents spoke in favor of a permanent ban, arguing that it's become too easy for people to obtain permits for medical marijuana use, and that marijuana use has lead to stronger, more addictive drugs. But there were also those who spoke in favor of allowing medical marijuana dispensaries, contending that marijuana cooperatives generate income for cities, and that banning dispensaries is a form discrimination.

Councilman Fuhrman, who indicated he holds a permit for medical marijuana, expressed a desire for regulations that will permit dispensaries. Meanwhile, councilman Twyman noted that marijuana dispensaries create additional levels of bureaucracy and that marijuana use in general is best addressed at the federal level.

In the end, the council voted three to one, with Twyman, Denver, and Kuenzi voting to make the ban permanent, with Fuhrman voting against.

Tonight's vote is actually the first of a two-part reading. At the next city council meeting, the councilmembers will vote for a second and final time to make the ban permanent.

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