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Governor vetoes medical marijuana zoning bill

By Josh Richman
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 at 4:44 pm in California State Senate, Jerry Brown, marijuana.

Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would’ve barred medical marijuana dispensaries from being located with 600 feet of a school or residential area, unless city or county officials enact their own ordinances.

The bill was SB 847 by state Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana. The state Senate had passed it 31-2 in June; the Assembly had passed it 68-5 in August; and the state Senate had concurred in the Assembly’s amendments on a 34-4 vote in August.

“I have already signed AB 1300 that gave cities and counties authority to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries – an authority I believe they already had,” Brown said in his veto message. “This bill goes in the opposite direction by preempting local control and prescribing the precise locations in which dispensaries may not be located. Decisions of this kind are best made in cities and counties, not the State Capitol.”

SB 847 had originated with the city of Anaheim and was supported by groups such as the Peace Officers Research Association of California; advocates contended it would create a buffer zone until local governments can enact their own ordinances.

Groups including Americans for Safe Access, the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project had opposed SB 847, saying it would force a one-size-fits-all zoning scheme on local governments, and would lead to a lack of access to medical marijuana in some high-density urban areas.

Don Duncan, Americans for Safe Access’ California director, blogged today that the veto followed a groundswell of opposition from medical marijuana advocates, proving “that grassroots participation makes a difference.”

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  • David

    Governor Brown is on a roll right now. If he decides to veto AB 144, he’s got a new supporter.

  • John W

    His logic on SB 845 makes sense. If he vetoes AB 144, I’ll be interested in seeing his reasoning, especially considering the support from law enforcement. He may be a gun owner, but I can’t see him making a “don’t tread on us” Second Amendment argument. He probably would justify a veto based on his judgement about how the law would stand up in court and saving the state the legal expense of mounting a defense. Sign it, Jerry!

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    The Govis right. HS students need a safe place to buy their weed.