Delray Beach divided on whether to ban marijuana dispensaries – Sun Sentinel
Delray Beach is locked in a debate over whether medical marijuana dispensaries should be banned citywide.
City Commissioner Jim Chard said a majority of states have legalized medical marijuana, and Delray would be on the “wrong side of history” in joining those who oppose it. But Mayor Cary Glickstein supports the ban, saying dispensaries could attract homeless people and drug dealers.
A final vote on the ban is scheduled for Sept. 26.
In a 3-2 vote, city commissioners gave initial support to the ban late last week, as residents prepared for Hurricane Irma to make landfall in Florida.
The ban would permanently extend a yearlong moratorium the city has had in place since last September.
Under the proposal, residents would still be able to use and carry medical marijuana. They just wouldn’t be able to buy it in Delray Beach.
Chard said a ban on dispensaries subverts the will of more than 75 percent of Delray residents who voted in favor of medical marijuana.
He chided colleagues who supported the ban, saying medical marijuana is safer than some Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs.
“You know if the commission really wanted to protect Delray Beach citizens, we might want to ban Viagra,” he joked.
But Delray’s city attorney said state lawmakers left cities with few alternatives: either ban it or regulate it like a pharmacy.
“We can’t regulate marijuana dispensing or treatment facilities with any more stringent regulations than we do a garden variety pharmacy, which is essentially no regulation, unless we want to handcuff all of our pharmacies,” said City Attorney R. Max Lohman.
Mayor Cary Glickstein plans to support the