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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hayward Votes Tonight on Citywide Marijuana Dispensary Kibosh

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 4:30 PM

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Although California's Attorney General and judges have recently been loosening the legal reins on medical Marijuana users, the debate over whether dispensaries have a place in our cities remains a hot-button issue around the state.

This is particularly true in Los Angeles, but also in Hayward -- our neighbor across the Bay. At 7 p.m. the Hayward City Council will vote on a moratorium that would prohibit dispensaries from opening or operating in the city for approximately six to nine months.

In theory, the moratorium would allow the city to study and develop potential regulations, which could eventually make Hayward a more dispensary-friendly place. But would-be dispensary owners and advocates say that in a place like Hayward, where dispensaries have a checkered history and a hostile mayor, a moratorium doesn't bode well.

Tom Lemos is the proprietor of a dispensary shut down by the city in 2007

who had hoped to reopen this year. He said he feels city officials aren't

sincere when they say they want to "study" dispensaries.

"That's complete crap," Lemos told SF Weekly, citing a belief that the mayor and

certain city council members have a vision for a revitalized downtown

that doesn't include dispensaries.

"I'm not saying there were not problems," he said, noting two

robberies at his old dispensary. But it was simply a matter of

increasing security, he claimed. According to Lemos, these kinds of obstacles are worth working around in order for the sick and needy people of Hayward get access to

their medication.

Photo   |   Lavocado

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Ashley Harrell

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