Today was supposed to be a time to get tough on threats to public safety. You know, like cancer patients. A new bill in committee in the state Legislature sought to ban a significant number of existing medical cannabis dispensaries by imposing a 1,000 foot restriction on dispensaries near parks, churches, other dispensaries and beyond. The bill AB 2650 is sponsored by a police lobby and was being debated in the Committee on Public Safety today. But as of a few hours ago, the bill had been withdrawn. Wonder why? Read the author's statement and the Americans For Safe Access response to the measure after the jump.
According to the bill's author statement, the problem is:
Marijuana Dispensaries are increasing throughout the state, more and more are opening closer to our schools. Currently, there is no guidance as the most appropriate locations for these dispensaries to open. As a result, we have cases of dispensaries opening up close to schools and other places where children congregate. As Medical Marijuana Dispensaries continue to open throughout the state, they are increasingly located near schools and parks, public libraries and child care facilities. To keep Medical Marijuana Dispensaries from further encroaching from places where children and families congregate, we believe we need to keep them a measured distance from these locations.
Too bad cities already impose these types of site regulations with more local sensitivity than a broad state law, and there's been no impact report done on what this law would do to existing licensed dispensaries. Americans for Safe Access had the rebuttal:
ASA opposes AB2650, and we are calling on our members in California to tell their Assembly representatives on the Public Safety Committee to vote no. Tell the committee members that AB 2650:
1. Is unnecessary to protect public safety
2. Interferes with local effort to regulate medical cannabis collectives
3. Serves to reduce safe and legal access for patients by limiting the number of collectives statewide
4. Stigmatizes legal patients by seeking to keep them away from schools, places of worship, and parks for no good reason