Filner moves to legalize pot dispensaries

SAN DIEGO – Mayor Bob Filner published his proposal Thursday to allow marijuana dispensaries to operate legally in San Diego.

Under the proposed measure, the dispensaries would be prohibited to open shop near schools, abiding that way to state law.

But it proposes no distance requirements from churches, libraries, residential buildings or even child care facilities.

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 9.55.06 PMDispensaries would also be given limited freedoms to promote their product.

Owners would also have to pay a 2 percent excise tax and a $5,000 operating permit.

San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said a new ordinance could help regulate a growing number of what he describes are “unlawful dispensaries” currently operating across the city.

“It is illegal for them to operate, but the mayor and City Council have the authority to change that,” said Goldsmith.

But Goldsmith also said a new marijuana dispensaries ordinance could conflict with federal law, which he said currently prohibits these establishments.

Filner has told Fox 5 in the past that the purpose behind his proposal is to help people who depend on marijuana for comfort of severe pain caused by chronic illnesses.

“The pain used to be almost unbearable,” said 69-year-old Ken Cole.

Cole suffers from bone marrow cancer and diabetes; he also has a blind eye.

“This is the only thing that helps me get a good night’s rest,” said Cole. “It keeps me from being a vegetable.”

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