OCEANSIDE (NEWS 8) – The Oceanside City Council on Wednesday night approved regulating medical marijuana and cultivation but rejected any dispensaries.
The proposal to allow cultivation, testing and sale of medical marijuana in Oceanside had been in the works for months, and while some welcome it as an opportunity for the North County city, others said it will jeopardize public safety.
While recreational marijuana is legal in California, North County communities, including Oceanside, continue debating whether or not to regulate medical marijuana.
“These are people who are not getting high, that are not robbing or raping people. They are taking this medicine because they do not want to take narcotics,” said a cannabis nurse.
Oceanside High School students also took their concerns to the City Council.
“Having medical marijuana dispensaries in Oceanside will remind teens that it is out there and will make them think it’s healthy and accessible,” said Madison Matella.
Marijuana supporters voiced their opposition to the proposals which would limit cultivation – the 1,000-feet rule and restrictions on the number of dispensaries in industrial areas.
“We think allowing only two dispensaries would be feeding into the reefer madness we have fought to overcome,” said an Oceanside resident in favor of marijuana regulation.
Others fear allowing medical marijuana will impact property values and public safety costs.
“Why would you allow more problematic businesses with their all cash, pungent marijuana smell, large amount of water use, robbery armed guards and it goes on and one,” said an Oceanside resident opposing marijuana regulation.
Medical marijuana patients said it’s about safe access.
“The North County transit system does not even reach the first available dispensary,” said Sam Humeid, president of San Diego Cannabis Delivery Alliance.
“There are plenty of drugs they can get a prescription for at a hospital. Marijuana is not the only thing that can suppress their pain,” said Madison Matella.
The medical marijuana proposal will go back to the City Council for a second reading on April 11th, and if approved it will go into effect in 30 days.
Councilmembers said it could take 12 to 18 months to get all the licensing and be operational.
Oceanside currently allows medical marijuana deliveries.