On Thursday, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner declared an end to the city’s legal battle against medical marijuana. In a letter, Filner ordered civil prosecutors to “stop the crackdown on marijuana dispensaries.”
Filner, sworn in on December 1st, sent the letter to the San Diego police chief, city attorney, and the city’s Neighborhood Code Compliance Department.
The mayor later released a statement, explaining, “Until we have a new set of regulations for medical marijuana distribution, I have asked the Neighborhood Code Compliance Department and the Police Department to temporarily halt all prosecutions of city zoning code violations when it comes to medical marijuana dispensaries.”
In the statement, Filner also revealed that he plans to propose an ordinance to the city council to regulate marijuana dispensaries and close a gap that had allowed dispensary owners to be targeted for zoning violations.
He showed compassion for patients in need of their medicine, writing that he supported increased accessibility for people “who legitimately need it for relief of pain.”
Filner continued, “I believe that, in order to be a great city, we must also be a humane city and show compassion toward those who need help in dealing with chronic pain.”
This marks a huge change for San Diego’s medical marijuana community. In 2011, the city launched code enforcement action that forced over 100 medical marijuana collectives, the majority of those in the city, to be shut down.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith replied to Filner’s statement, simply saying that they would comply with his directions.
San Diego ASA spokesman Eugene Davidovich applauded the move by Filner. He said, “I’m so hopeful that this is the end to these lawsuits and it will create a path to regulation of shops for the thousands of people who rely on this medicine.”