National City votes out potential marijuana businesses ahead of election

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. - Local leaders in National City passed an urgent ordinance that would ban all commercial marijuana sales three weeks before citizens vote on Measure 64.

The city council's decision was made in anticipation of the proposition getting passed in November.

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The council introduced and immediately implemented the measure Tuesday essentially telling any budding entrepreneurs to take their business elsewhere.

"The two largest communities in our county have larger police departments and everything. If they want to handle it and regulate that's fine it'll be right next door to us. It'll be available to anyone who legally wants to use it,” said National City Mayor Ron Morrison.

Anita Brinkley watched as city officials unanimously voted to ban the business from their city limits.

“I think it's the best thing for our city and for the state -- hoping that it will not pass,” said Brinkley. “If it were to happen … and it was sold to [underage users] it would be a real tragedy.”

The new ordinance cuts off all commercial marijuana activity other than what would be state regulated - meaning people couldn’t sell marijuana for medicinal or recreational use in the city limits.

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"We have had dispensaries pop up and next thing you know they're in full operation. In the last two or three years, we've probably had about half a dozen that we've had to shut down,” said Cpt. Jose Tellez with the National City Police Department.

City officials told FOX 5 police enforcement resources played a factor in their decision, as well as statistics from Colorado showing increased transient populations, overdoses and drug related crimes.

"We're a small city and we're trying to learn the lessons that happened in Colorado, which are not as glorious as some people think like,” said Morrison.