In light of an ambiguous grand jury report, the city of Arroyo Grande is playing it safe and cracking down on medical marijuana delivery services within its city limits.
On Oct. 9, the City Council unanimously approved an amendment to its ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries; the new language includes mobile dispensaries or collectives in the ban, following a San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury report that makes sweeping suggestions for local municipalities to rein in the services, which the report said operate in a “gray” market.
The 2012 report, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Medical Marijuana In San Luis Obispo County,” criticizes local governments for not having rules in place to regulate such services.
Thus far, no other municipality has accepted the report’s recommendations; many bodies have instead called them “unreasonable” and “unwarranted.”
The city of Atascadero is currently the only other city to outlaw both storefront and mobile medical marijuana providers.
Before making their decision, council members heard pleas from a number of resident patients practically begging for the city to reconsider. Amid a round of applause—and a bellow of disapproval from Mayor Tony Ferrara—resident Mary Stackhouse shook off nerves about public speaking to state why the proposed ban should be nixed.
Stackhouse, who said she sufferers from fibromyalgia—a syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and psychological distress—explained how medical marijuana allows her lead a more fulfilling life. She said cannabis lets her to do things like travel and spend time with her daughter.
The testimony was preceded by multiple community members asking the council not to implement the ban, including one who presented the analogy of owning a car that could only operate on a specific type of diesel and the unreasonableness of having to drive 40 miles to buy such fuel.
The presentation moved the council to pull the item from the consent agenda for a brief discussion, despite the impending approval.
According to the grand jury report, up to 40 mobile services operate across the county.