Southwest Bakersfield

Bakersfield leaders OK first reading of ordinance banning pot shops

Bakersfield leaders OK first reading of ordinance banning pot shops
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Despite passionate pleas by people who said they need medicinal marijuana to help them cope with ailments, the Bakersfield City Council unanimously approved the first reading Wednesday night of an ordinance that would ban medicinal marijuana dispensaries anywhere in the city.

Ward 2 Councilman Terry Maxwell is behind the proposed ban. Maxwell said there is abuse in the dispensaries, and that there is no regulatory body that oversees the businesses to make sure there is compliance.

Numerous speakers said that on the contrary, there is no evidence that shows that medicinal marijuana dispensaries cause crime in a neighborhood.

City attorney Ginny Gennaro said enforcing the proposed ban would be complaint-driven and that police would not go around knocking down doors.

A second reading will be held at the next City Council meeting, and, if approved, the ordinance would take effect 30 days after.