The San Jose City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that will allow 16 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city to sell marijuana for recreational purposes to adults 21 and older starting on Jan. 1.
The ordinance allows recreational marijuana sales in the city only for the dispensaries that are currently allowed to sell it for medicinal purposes. No zoning districts or exclusionary zones changed with the passage of the ordinance.
A handful of community members and city personnel spoke for and against the passage of the ordinance, including San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia, who was concerned that marijuana might fall into the hands of minors if recreational sales were allowed.
One community member, Sean Kalli-Rai, reminded the council members that every single district in San Jose voted in favor of Proposition 64 in last November's election.
Another community member, Kevin Kittlia, spoke strongly against the ordinance and the current dispensaries in the city, citing his born-again Christian beliefs.
"I've seen what this drug does to people," Kittlia said. "I have had friends that had their lives destroyed by this. ... Again, I ask you, please, please, please do away with the marijuana dispensaries just because this hurts people."
The passage of the ordinance will also allow the delivery of marijuana to non-medicinal customers.