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Manteca adopts marijuana rules
City establishes perimeters for medical pot cultivation, sale
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Pot sales out of a former tea room in downtown Manteca are on ice pending a judge’s ruling on a permanent injunction. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Maggie Gutierrez was concerned that Manteca’s new laws restricting marijuana use would make it illegal for her husband to get the only “medicine” that has been effective at easing  pain from a severe back injury that used to keep him bed ridden.

Larry Teunissen was worried that the new city laws would make it impossible to grow medicinal marijuana in his back yard.

City leaders Tuesday assured those who are complying with Proposition 215 won’t be impacted with Manteca’s move to prohibit pot dispensaries from opening up within the city limits as well as rules designed to prevent medicinal marijuana growers form becoming victims of criminals when they grow their own pot.

The council Tuesday adopted the second reading on the ordinance dealing with pot. It will go into effect by late June.

“I personally do not use marijuana,” Gutierrez said ,noting that she was a devout Christian as well as a conservative Republican.

Gutierrez said on the issue of medical marijuana that she isn’t following the views generally held by those two groups.

“People have the right to be out of pain,” she said.

Various medication prescribed by doctors were not effective and kept her husband bed ridden at times. It has been different since a doctor prescribed medical marijuana.

She was also worried that the rules and regulations governing growing would make it so cost prohibitive that they would not be able to do so.

The ordinance stipulates:

• only allow qualified patients, persons with medical identification cards, and primary caregivers to cultivate medical marijuana.

• such marijuana must be cultivated inside a secured, locked and fully enclosed structure that includes side walls, a ceiling, and roof. No outdoor cultivation will be permitted within the city limits.

• A maximum of 12 plants with a maximum of six mature plants will be allowed unless a collective cultivation is allowed under an extensive set of rules outlined in the ordinance including the concern being non-profit and not within 1,000 feet of any residential district, school, recreation center, or youth center.

• Smoking of medical marijuana will not be allowed any place smoking is prohibited by law, in or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, youth center, or recreation center (unless the use is for medical purposes within a residence), on a school bus, or while in a motor vehicle or boat that is being operated.

Proposition 215 passed by California voters in 1996 made it legal for personal use of marijuana for medical reasons. The California Legislature followed that up with a law that gave individual cities the power to decide whether to allow marijuana dispensaries for medical purposes.

In 2004, the Manteca City Council adopted a temporary moratorium on medial marijuana dispensaries within the city limits. The moratorium expired in 2005 without any additional action for a more permanent solution. As late as last year, the council declined requests to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Manteca.

Quick & Easy Cooperative that opened in downtown Manteca on Yosemite Avenue near Library Park did so under the guise of being a retail pharmacy on its business license application. When city leaders discovered it was a medical marijuana dispensary or club, they sought a temporary injunction to shut it down. A hearing on a permanent injunction is pending.

Manteca law enforcement and city attorney moved under a provision of the business license ordinance that prohibits issuing a business license for any activity that is illegal under city, state or federal law. Marijuana use of any type is illegal under federal statutes.