The Lemon Grove City Council will consider Tuesday night an ordinance to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the city. The Registrar of Voters certified the petition on July 3 to put the proposed measure on the November ballot, and now council members must choose from four options to move forward.
With the needed number of petition signatures verified the city can:
- Adopt the proposed ordinance without alteration;
- Place the proposed measure on the November 2012 ballot;
- Place the proposed measure on the November 2012 ballot along with a competing measure, such as one that would ban medical marijuana dispensaries in Lemon Grove;
- Order an impact report on the implications of the measure on the city.
City Manager Graham Mitchell and City Attorney James P. Lough are recommending the fourth option—that the city council refer the initiative to staff to prepare a report on the legal, financial, economic and land use impacts medical marijuana dispensaries would have on the city.
If the city council goes with that option, however, the report would have to be expedited so that the deadline to make a decision on the initiative is not missed. If a report is ordered, the city council will need to review it at the Aug. 7 meeting.
Citizens for Patient Rights filed the proposed ballot initiative on March 30 and began circulating a petition to put the issue to a vote. The group submitted at total of 2,991 signatures to the city clerk on June 26. Of that number, the Registrar of Voters verified 1,726 signatures, with 1,206 found sufficient to put the measure on the ballot. The petition included 520 signatures that were not sufficient, including 91 duplicates.
The Lemon Grove City Council meets at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of the month at the Community Center. The current agenda can be found online at the city's website.