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Lafayette also looking to temporarily ban medical pot clubs

By Jonathan Morales
Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 3:55 pm in Lafayette.

Three weeks after Orinda passed a 45-day emergency ordinance placing a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, the Lafayette City Council appears set to do so as well.

Assistant Planner Michael Cass said the city had been discussing a moratorium for awhile, and that it was initially sparked by the district attorney’s announcement a few months ago that his office would not be prosecuting certain misdemeanors. The discussion was re-sparked after Orinda passed its moratorium.

But Cass said the primary reason for the moratorium relates to the downtown. One of the city’s tasks, he said, is to revamp “activity classifications” in the downtown area.

“This is one of the ones that we’re not sure of the direction the council is going to want to take,” Cass said.

While he said he is unsure what the council will ultimately do, he did say he doubts council members would want to allow dispensaries downtown so long as state and federal laws are conflicted on the issue. State law allows for a limited use of medical marijuana, but federal law does not.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lafayette Community Center. The moratorium would need a four-fifths vote to take effect, and could be extended for up to two years.

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