San Diego expands restrictions on underage marijuana use

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council took action Tuesday to make it illegal for people to provide an environment where minors use marijuana, controlled substances and alcohol.

The amendment to the city’s social host ordinance was unanimously passed on first reading, and must come back before the council for a second reading before it becomes law.

Hillary Nemchick, spokeswoman for City Attorney Mara W. Elliott’s office, said the updated ordinance would take effect 30 days after being signed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

As of now, the ordinance covers underage drinking but not other drugs, according to Elliott, who said adding marijuana and controlled substances to the ordinance will give law enforcement another tool to deter conduct that puts children at risk.

“Working with Police Chief David Nisleit, we will educate the public about this ordinance, and hold accountable those who choose to ignore it,” she said.

According to Elliott’s office, Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana use by adults in California, “opened a door for increased marijuana use by minors.”

In San Diego County, marijuana remains the drug of choice for youths held at juvenile hall, with 45 percent testing positive and 56 percent reporting it was the first substance they tried, Elliott’s office said.

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