Supporters of medicinal marijuana filed a petition with the city Monday afternoon to enact an ordinance that would allow marijuana dispensaries to operate in IB.
If about 1,000 signatures can be collected, residents could be given the option to vote whether or not to approve the Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach.
The ordinance would establish a new municipal code that allows and regulates medical marijuana dispensaries in IB, and would repeal legislation approved by City Council last year banning the facilities.
At the time, were named as major reasons why City Council opposed dispensaries in IB.
The city's ordinance also said no to dispensaries because of a possible increase in crime.
"Medical marijuana dispensaries have resulted in and/or caused an increase in crime, including burglaries, robberies, violence, illegal sales of marijuana to, and use of marijuana by minors and other persons without medical need," the ordinance said.
In contrast, the proposed Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach said that crime is "reduced by the presence of a Medical Cannabis Dispensing Collective (MCDC)."
of crime near dispensaries in nearby San Diego found no measurable increase in crime.
The city's ordinance also cites thealack of enforcement by the Department of Justice as a reason to deny dispensaries locally, though the federal government renewed their efforts to crack down on dispensaries last fall.
Once supporters of medical marijuana begin collecting signatures, they will have three months. If no less than 10 percent of the electorate or about 1,000 people sign the petition it could be put to a vote.
In accordance with state election code, three people had to sign the petition for it to be validated who include Michael Ganey, Michael Dennison and Dennis Hogan, owner of The Wave Cafe.
Among rules that will take effect if the ordinance becomes law:
- patients will be able to smoke at the dispensary if filters are used to eliminate odor outside and other requirements are met
- must not be within 600 feet of a school
- must not be within 300 feet of another dispensary
- outdoor cultivation will not be allowed unless the area is not visible outside the property and property restricts public access
- dispensaries must operate between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
"The main reason we're doing this is because the law that they put in place frustrated the Prop 215 and SB 420 laws, so this would hopefully prevent that from occurring," said Marcus Boyd.
Boyd repeatedly appeared in front of City Council in support of medicinal marijuana and pledged to pursue a ballot initiative if the city voted to approve a ban.
Members of the Medicinal Marijuana Task Force and local and national branches of Americans for Safe Access were consulted when drafting the ordinance language, Boyd said.
"We took the national ASA sample ordinance and we used that as a template and made it more to date and more current to Imperial Beach," he said.
According to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, 56 percent of Imperial Beach residents voted in favor of Proposition 215 in 1996.