Local

Kings County approves strict medical pot ban

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A new ban on medical marijuana has been approved in the South Valley. The Kings County supervisors voted to ban all dispensaries and outside medical marijuana grows.

Kings County supervisors unanimously approved a new ordinance --banning all medical marijuana dispensaries and outdoor medicinal marijuana grows in the county.

Johanna Hartman said, "Your board selected the ordinance banning medical marijuana except as allowed by state law."

Dispensaries like "Grey Sky" and "Top Shelf" will have 30 days to shut down. Only individuals who have a prescription will be allowed to grow medical marijuana in a safe indoor place. The ban was applauded by many who sat in to watch the supervisors' meeting, including some who work at a local drug rehab facility.

Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson says he's seen an increase in crimes at medical marijuana sites. He hopes more restrictions will put a stop to illegal activity.

Recent homicides relating to medical marijuana sites in neighboring Tulare and Fresno Counties also worries deputies, county officials and Kings County residents.

As one dispensary prepares to shut down and comply with the ordinance it's hoping that supervisors change their minds on the ban. The owner of Top Shelf is a retired sheriff's deputy and veteran who's suffering from cancer.

Top Shelf employee tells us, "He opened this to provide safe access to patients and we've done that and I just think it's a shame they're banning all dispensaries here in Kings County."

This employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, says their dispensary shouldn't be punished for crime that occurs at other medical marijuana locations. She says the owner may try and appeal the ban.

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kings county, medical marijuana, local, jessica peres
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