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Jackson repeals cannabis code

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Tessa Marguerite
07/18/2014 8:55 AM

On Monday evening, the Jackson City Council erased all confusion about its opposition to the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits.

Prior to dealing with the cannabis issue, the council unanimously approved the consent calendar, which included the adoption of a Resolution for Notice of Completion for the Magnesium Hydroxide Project at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The results of this project will be to increase water quality in Jackson Creek and Lake Amador by reducing the effluent discharge’s potential toxicity to aquatic life.

An addendum to the Wastewater Treatment Improvement Project EIR and new design option were presented by City Manager Michael Daly and Project Manager Patrick Angel. As written in section 3.11 of the Environmental Analysis, “The revised project reduces the project footprint, eliminates the land effluent disposal system, and maintains year-round flows to Jackson Creek. Vice Mayor Connie Gonsalves moved to approve the addendum to the Wastewater Treatment Project, as well as the other items on the Consent Calendar. It was seconded by councilman Wayne Garibaldi, and unanimously approved.

Next on the agenda was a request for repeal of Municipal Code chapter 8.25.

In April of 2010 the City Council enacted Ordinance 664, which amended certain chapters of the Jackson Municipal Code to prohibit the establishment and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Jackson. A repeal of Chapter 8.25 was inadvertently left out of Ordinance 664.

On June 23, 2014, a public hearing and first reading of this ordinance was held, with no comments from the public. Repealing this municipal code will eliminate any confusion concerning medical cannabis sales in the City of Jackson. Although California was the first State to legalize the use of medical marijuana in 1996, it has yet to establish standards of distribution.

Sutter Creek resident Robert Allen addressed the council in favor of legalizing marijuana dispensaries in Jackson, saying, “Marijuana saves and changes lives for the better.”

Nonetheless, the council members, moved by Councilman Keith Sweet, unanimously repealed section 8.25 of the Municipal Code.

If State law eventually legalizes the distribution and holding of marijuana, then this Municipal Code will likely go back into effect. Section 5, of Ordinance 678, regarding the repealing of medical cannabis states, “This Ordinance and the rules, regulations, provisions, requirements, orders and matters established and adopted hereby shall take effect and be in full force and effect thirty (30) days from and after the date of its final passage and adoption.”

The public meeting was then adjourned for the council’s closed session. This Friday, July 18, City Hall will be closed, as it is a furlough day. The Jackson City Council will meet again on July 28.

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