Marin Officials Dismiss Grand Jury Recommendations on Marijuana

No change to make medical marijuana more available.

Dust off the Cheech and Chong reference book --a recommendation to make marijuana readily available in Marin County is burned up, cashed - and up in smoke.

Federal law means a Marin County Civil Grand Jury report that urged county officials to "ensure medical marijuana is available for those who need it" was dismissed out-of-hand, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

The newspaper reported on Thursday that the grand jury's recommendations are "a pipe dream" thanks to the federal Justice Department's crackdown on California's legal cannabis industry.

Marin's last medical marijuana dispensary is scheduled to close next year. The federal Justice Department shut down dispensaries in Novato and in Fairfax in recent years.

The Marin Board of Supervisors was urged to change zoning laws to make it easier for dispensaries to open up. No way, the board responded.

"Given the federal law and recent enforcement actions, we are not taking action to change our land use and zoning codes for the permitting of marijuana dispensaries," the board ruled, according to the newspaper.

Marijuana is popular in Marin - a total of 73 percent of the voters in 1996 approved the Compassionate Use Act, which made California the first state in the country to allow medical use of marijuana.

But it's not so much popular with local governments, which have complemented the feds' crackdown with local laws banning dispensaries.

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