Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/05/2011 05:18:54 PM PDT
SAN BERNARDINO – Seeking to put more teeth into anti-pot laws already on the books, the City Council voted 6-0 to approve an ordinance that brings stiffer penalties against those who illegally operate medical marijuana dispensaries here.
The city last year effectively banned dispensaries by prohibiting permits for them, but officials say operators are running the outfits anyway, and several city departments have received complaints about the matter.
Assistant City Attorney Jolena Grider said while last year’s action brought with it a misdemeanor or infraction, the ordinance passed Monday carries a misdemeanor only, which means violators could face six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.
She said the new ordinance also means the city can utilize administrative civil penalties, which are $1,000-per-day fines for any violation of the city code.
“This is just another tool to make it easier to prosecute the dispensaries ” Grider said.
Proposition 19 – which would have have allowed Californians age 21 or older to grow marijuana, and permitted local jurisdictions to regulate and tax the sale of pot – lost at the ballot box in November.
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