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Lodi City Council will review temporary ban on medicinal marijuana outlets

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Posted: Monday, April 13, 2009 10:00 pm

After getting several inquiries about opening a medical pot outlet in Lodi, city officials are seeking a temporary ban to give them time to study the issue.

The city of Lodi received three inquiries in March, about a week after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will only target marijuana distributors violating both state and federal law.

Because there is no policy in Lodi, Deputy City Attorney Janice Magdich will ask the council on Wednesday to approve a 45-day moratorium on the opening or approval of dispensaries in the city.

This will give city staff time to evaluate the possible effects of a dispensary in Lodi.

"In other cities, dispensaries have opened and the city had nothing to regulate them," Magdich said.

Four votes are required for approval of the temporary moratorium because it is an "urgency" addition to the city's ordinances.

Usually, ordinance changes require a public hearing. If city staff request an extended moratorium for more research time, that will be decided on May 20 at a public hearing.

Brian Bader

Brian Bader is among those interested in opening a medical marijuana location. He hopes the council will take the time to learn about the benefits of having a dispensary in the community. Bader would like to open one because he wants to provide a safe business instead of some of the "fly-by-night" dispensaries in other cities.

"Most of the people look like your grandmothers and mothers, they are not some punk kids … It's a health and safety issue," Bader said.

Magdich did some preliminary research on dispensaries in other cities by updating a League of California Cities report. She found that out of 147 cities, 28 regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, 49 prohibit them and 70 cities have moratoriums.

Some of the moratoriums have expired, but most were put in place to allow city staff time for more analysis or to await further clarification on the contradiction of state and federal laws.

Bader maintains that clarification came March 18, when Holder announced a reversal from the past eight years under President George W. Bush by not targeting all dispensaries. He said the administration will still focus on any dispensaries that "use medical marijuana laws as a shield" for other illegal activity.

While 13 states allow medicinal marijuana, California is the only one that has dispensaries.

Marijuana meeting information

Issue: A 45-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, so city staff has time to research potential effects. The council must approve it with at least four votes.
Why now: In March, President Barack Obama's administration announced it will not prosecute owners of dispensaries that follow California law. In the next week, the city received three inquiries about opening a dispensary in Lodi.
When and where: 7 p.m. Wednesday, 305 W. Pine Street, Lodi.

Based on her brief study, Magdich has found cities where dispensaries are only allowed in certain areas or have restrictions placed in their permits. She also found two cities where the city ordinances only allow the distribution of marijuana at pharmacies. For Bader, a dispensary will keep people in the area from driving to Sacramento to get their medicinal marijuana, which will help Lodi's tax base. He also said the dispensaries he has been to are clean and safe.

Bader, 53, has used marijuana to ease pain from a soft-tissue disease. While he would like to be the one to open a profitable dispensary in Lodi, if someone else opens one first, he will drop the idea.

"My thing is this, if it so comes to the point where they allow it, we don't need 10 business licenses or even 5," he said. "We are a small town."

In a staff report, Lodi Police Chief David Main said he is concerned about the secondary effects of dispensaries, including robbery, people purchasing drugs, and other crimes near the dispensary.

He includes information from other cities where crime has increased around dispensaries, and the cities have had to do more police patrols in the area.

Bader said if properly run, there will not be an increase in crimes. He said if he had a dispensary, he would ensure no one smoked on the property, and staff would check all of the prescriptions with the doctor who wrote them.

He also would keep a limited amount of money and marijuana on the premise. At other dispensaries, there are armed security guards, but he doesn't think that would be necessary. One of his suggestions is hiring fourth or fifth degree black belts as security to ensure all the staff and customers are safe.

In 2001, Bader was a leading proponent of a dispensary and asked the council members to come see one with him, but none of them took him up on the offer. He hopes they will come this time.

"None of those people on the council have seen a dispensary," he said. "In their minds, they think it's a pot house."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blog/citybuzz.

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  • posted at 7:21 am on Mon, Apr 20, 2009.


    Bob, did you also notice the irony that the character fighting for legalization was also named Brian? By the way, I loooove home grown tomatoes. Let me know when you harvest.

  • posted at 5:18 pm on Sun, Apr 19, 2009.


    Did anyone catch Family Guy tonight on the subject of legalization? It was a very clever take. Seth MacFarlan never disappoints!

  • posted at 3:02 am on Sun, Apr 19, 2009.


    One way to solve the problem, is to require the dispensary be located adjacent to the Police station. This way customers could obtain their "medications" in a safe place, and law enforcement would be close by in the event of illegal activities. It would be a short distance to go for booking. I don't think there would be many "real" customers?

  • posted at 4:06 pm on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    This is true Cogito. The big cost is the special crop of giant tomato plants you need so you can grow your weed in between them. This masks the smell and hides the plants from being seen from the air. So I've heard (heheh).....

  • posted at 12:24 pm on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    Bob, my point was that marijuana is not alcohol. It's easy to grow your own. Will personal cultivation be against the law, like alcohol? It's waaaay cheaper if your a small plot farmer. It costs you virtually nothing to grow.

  • posted at 10:00 am on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    I can see the marketing campaign now: Weedies, the Dope of Champions!"

  • posted at 9:57 am on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    Cogito, I'm surprised at your response on taxing weed since you're a free market type of guy. Big growers will come along and produce a crop that is cheaper than the "mom and pop" operations, even after taxes. The big guys will drive the small dealers out of the market, ala Wal-Mart. This happened with alcohol back in the day, and could happen with commercial marijuana growers too.

  • posted at 6:36 am on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    The Point is Prohibition failed, the "war on drugs" is a lie on top of another failure, Legalization is not the answer, decriminalization also has it's own problems, however, there has to be an answer in this somewhere...

  • posted at 5:38 am on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    Cognito, I'm with you for the drug testing, arrests and education. But in the news this morning (and I grant that I don't know how accurate their info was) they said that the % of abusers has stayed the same since the early 1900's. More people are using but there is also more of a population base so the % stays the same.Yes there is a black market. How much revenue do we get from that right now? None except for the occasional police seizure and auction. But when you legalize it then it creates market competition for the black-marketeers. During teh prohibition there was a mess load of alcohol in the black market (even one of my great grandmothers ran moonshine for the mob) when it became legal again the B.M. dried up because people could get it without fear of the law.Today i know there is still a blackmarket alcohol niche as there is for cigarettes, purses and car stereos. Keeping this one vice (which is no worse than alcohol) illegal because some politician in the 60's needed a political grandstand is detrimental to the U.S. economy.

  • posted at 3:59 am on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    Don't get me wrong, I'm for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana. But I'm also for random drug testing in the workplace, and the right for an employer to fire anyone who tests dirty. I'm for continued arrests of those who drive while high. It's a public safety issue, and a worker safety issue. Plus, kids don't need to be taught that marijuana is a "medicine". I've watched too many of my generation get their potential stolen by drug abuse. Almost all of them started with smoking weed.

  • posted at 3:51 am on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    BTW, sorry Robb, my bad.

  • posted at 3:50 am on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    Bob, you can't compare cigarettes to marijuana. Nobody can grow a sufficient amount of tobacco to support a two pack a day habit. You can easily grow enough of your own weed to support your habit. How do we tax that exactly? How do we tax the small, clandestine growers producing most of the product now? How do you tax the pot coming over the border? Marijuana has a serious, well established, black market in place. Making it legal will not change that. It will still dominate the supply end of the marijuana market. How much tax money are you willing to spend to sufficiently keep the black market out of the taxed supply loop?

  • posted at 2:45 am on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    The heads up was an FYI, some people really confuse the difference..

  • posted at 2:20 am on Fri, Apr 17, 2009.


    Robb, no Doctor has ever "prescribed" marijuana because licensed pharmacies don't dispense it. Prescriptions are for Pharmacists, not drug dealers.

  • posted at 5:39 pm on Thu, Apr 16, 2009.


    Ok 'robb' if you want to get real picky, no,there are no 'prescriptions' being written. Doctors in California write what is called a 'recommendation'. With this paper in hand, a patient can seek medical marijuana, legally, and support both his healing and his governemnt.What could possibly be wrong with that?

  • posted at 12:01 pm on Thu, Apr 16, 2009.


    Make no mistake No Dr. has EVER Prescribed, Marijuana, they recommend, and advocate, NOT write a prescription

  • posted at 9:33 am on Thu, Apr 16, 2009.


    I would take the opposite view of Audi. I favor legalizing everything and then taxing the hell out of it. People who use are going to use anyway. The Man might as well get a piece of the action. The massive tax on cigarettes generates a lot of revenue, and may even deter some from smoking.Audi, legalization would not change the number of impaired drivers. Drinking and driving is illegal but that doesn't stop someone who really wants to do it.

  • posted at 4:10 am on Thu, Apr 16, 2009.


    I'd vote for outlawing alcohol. The bad far outweighs any perceived good, as some have noted here. How many tragic stories can we all tell of a friend or loved one ruined or killed due to alcohol use.Legalizing pot would put more impaired people behind the wheel or operating machinery which in turn puts us all in more danger. That makes no sense.

  • posted at 4:16 pm on Wed, Apr 15, 2009.


    Since the 70's, I can't say I have ever met an aggressive or criminal minded person thanks to smoking pot. If anything, the result is exactly the opposite. Might make you laugh, eat, have great sex, but you sure aren't ready to commit a crime.

  • posted at 6:18 am on Wed, Apr 15, 2009.


    Talk to anyone who has taken too much of a perscription drug and they are difficult to understand 9putting it kindly). Shoot, in high school I knew a kid whose favorite passtime was taking 3-4 allergy meds and chasing it with nyquil. That guy was wasted in the stands for more football games than games my team won (and we came in first that year). Both of those were legal meds.Point is take any med to the extreme and there are side effects. To compare a legitament marijuanauser to an abuser is like comparing a kitten to a wolverine. As others have said look at how drunks behave, if you want to ban marijuana because of those that abuse then you need to advocate for alcohol bans as well for the same reasons.

  • posted at 4:06 am on Wed, Apr 15, 2009.


    Both dogs and T&C ask if we have ever talked to a stoned person. Have either of you ever talked to a drunk? Both are complete idiots.I have talked to and spent time with patients legitimately using medical marijuana while they are under the influence. Trust me, they are not "stoned". What I noticed was they were in significantly less pain.And, NO, I did not partake in using their drugs. I could not even imagine them offering to share their drugs. That is like a patient on morphine offering to share "his drip line."

  • posted at 7:12 pm on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Bob, be kind to dogs. He's most likely a product of the LUSD. Dogs, those Cheech and Chong movies were a lot funnier if you'd been smoking. Monty Python was a lot funnier in those days too.

  • posted at 4:04 pm on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Hey dogs, a couple bong hits might make you a better speller. It sure couldn't make you worse...

  • posted at 2:15 pm on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    wudbridgGal wrote on Apr 14, 2009 6:42 PM:" Jeana says she needs to talk to you Brian. She thinks she`s pregnant. "sorry, it's not mine. 200-2978

  • posted at 1:42 pm on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Jeana says she needs to talk to you Brian. She thinks she`s pregnant.

  • posted at 1:38 pm on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Let Them Eat Cake

  • posted at 12:56 pm on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Try not to be so judgmental...

  • posted at 10:54 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Ever talk to someone that is stoned on pot, just two things come to mind, their hungry and can`t remember a damn thing. Bob, is that really what you think of as silly. Hopefully their not driving to Burger King at the time to satisfy their need for food.

  • posted at 10:43 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Bob, the perfect example of silly addit`s would be Cheech and Chong`s movie, Up in Smoke, MAN. Just like you, they didn`t make any sence, but they got paid for it. Concerning prune juice, you got a problem with that or maybe a good hit on a joint will fix that problem also. These blogs remind me of Lodi First vs. WalMart, one step forward and two steps back with no winner, it`s all up to the CC, maybe they should take a hit, mellow out and come up with a decession.

  • posted at 10:24 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    patton, T&C from the looks of things around Lodi and some of the coucils ideas i would think they would be first in line. Save some of that 80k on art and buy a bag.....

  • posted at 9:56 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    T&C -- seriously dude, lighten up. You take things wayyyyyy too seriously. I'd rather talk to a "silly addict" than an uptight grump like you any time.I will go stand in line. It will be one person shorter since you'll be off trying to figure out why your glass of prune juice is always half empty.

  • posted at 9:34 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Anyone can get a card. There are doctors in Stockton that give obviously healthy kids medical marijuana cards....with the nebulous diagnosis of back pain, or neck pain, or whatever. So, if medical marijuana is legalized, then I guess it would be ok for a child's teacher to be high during class time.....is that what we really need?

  • posted at 8:43 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Has ANYONE, esp. you, Bob Loblaw ever talked to some silly addict on pot? It is a one sided unamusing conversation. I don't need to smoke, drink or do drugs to get high! Your life is what you want to make of it! Go stand in line!

  • posted at 8:39 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    If a doctor writes a 90 day R/x for mom or dad and it`s gone in 30 with 16 year old kids in the house, time for mom and dad to figure out that their own kids are sneaking the prescription, lock it up. If you smoke pot long enough you will build up a tolerance for it and need more to get the job done, what ever that job might be. To get a job these days the first thing a potential employer will ask is for a drug test. Why a despensery when you can buy all you want from anyone standing on the cornor, and no freaking tax. DOT frown`s on dope smokers and tests often, you don`t have to submit to a test but if don`t you will loose your job, however if you don`t have a job, what the hell, roll one.

  • posted at 8:07 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Better be careful, the new Super Wal Mart will be stealing weed sales from our local suppliers. We need to fight the Lodi site, so the sales stay in Stockton.

  • posted at 7:53 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    The most popular drugs in Lodi amongst the kids are OxyContin, Demerol, Prozac, Lithium, Marijuana,and Ecstasy (crystal meth derivative). It is interesting that the first 4 on the list are highly regulated and the most popular. 16+ students drive on it, work on it, and have their parents fully hoodwinked. My cook's staff is young and through them and the gangster element I came to know- I am sure I am right. And Oxy is the worst- especially amongst the rich kids in town. If the Lodi City Council recognizes a need to regulate Marijuana- then I am for it. But who is regulating the doctors who keep writing the prescriptions for these other drugs? The federal govt and the FDA know the problem-- but the pharmaceutical industry heavily lobbies against strict regulation and definitely tries to control marijuana legality. The same lobby is trying to restrict Acai berry from entering the country due to its antioxidant and anti aging properties.

  • posted at 7:31 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Thousands of people are killed by DRUNK drivers every year. How about we look at some actual medical studies before making a decision and then make an educated decision. I seriously doubt that Marijuana is even remotely as dangerous and deadly as alcohol or methamphetamine in our community.How about we open up the discussion regarding the dangers of cigaretts?? I mean really....marijuana is the least of our worries in the "war on drugs".Legalize it and tax it.

  • posted at 7:26 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    T&C- typical comments from someone of an older generation. I can count on one hand the times I tried pot in the 70's while in high school, it's not my thing.T&C would have one use a strong & possibly addictive narcotic (Vicodin, Oxycontin, etc) than even try pot. Typical narrow view. He probably thinks everyone who runs these medical pot places have long hair, tie-dye shirts, and listen to the Grateful Dead.I know several people who have used pot while undergoing cancer treatments, and for chronic pain and all say it works. Myself, I've had my share of surgeries and associated chronic pain but I've been able to manage it through an average use of narcotics, massage, physical therapy, acupuncture, yoga, etc. Every patient is different and "pill x" does not work on every patient.This needs to be highly regulated, and as T&C wrote needs several checks & balances.

  • posted at 7:25 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    I recently injured my upper spine and nerve endings on the job. I bore the excruciating pain for two weeks all the way to my fingertips- with little sleep- before finally filing a worker's comp. I am close with my boss and carefully pursued my comp case. They wanted me to report 3 times per week plus weekly RX visits. The back massage treatments and thumb rubs were a joke. I was told to alternate heat and ice for about $2000 per visit. It was costing my boss a bundle and no improvement. I had a 9 week recovery. I worked through the injury not missing a day. The meds didn't help. I asked the RX about pot- and he freely offered a prescription- which I refused. I then called a friend. Got pot that day- SINCE it is EVERYWHERE in Lodi. I smoked it for two weeks and healed. If there is a place to get it legitimately- I believe there may be a place for it with proper regulation. It can be a useful natural alternative medicinal source. BTW- It made me jittery and I have not smoked it since I healed.

  • posted at 7:10 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Lets see, I go to a pot house, show my pot card and load up. There isn`t a doctor, other than the ones in Berkely that practice out of a double wide that could or would write a R/x for pot. And on top of it all, pay a tax. Your smoking to much of your own product when you can get it at the local high schools any time and as much as you want. Soft tissue, Bader`s been on the weed to long, perhaps he`s talking about his brain. Since you can only buy so much, is he an everyday buyer? If he and all the other pot heads are stoned all day to keep the pain away, I would hope they don`t drive, the last thing I need to worry about is being hit by some hungry, stoned pot head.

  • posted at 7:01 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    "Besides the munchies and acting stupid and becoming poorer, pot does NOTHING for anyone except those in SEVERE Pain!"Bob beat me to it. I was goingt o make the same arguments against alcohol. I don't know what the long term medical effects of pot are but we all know that long term use of alcohol are.

  • posted at 5:48 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Bob, that is funny. Most people do forget that alcohol and caffeine are drugs too.

  • posted at 5:18 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Reefer Madness has hit the blogs! God help us!!T&C, patton, etc., you all need to mellow slow. You are way too uptight. Go have a high ball or some other cocktail, as I'm sure you believe alcohol is much less destructive because it is legal.

  • posted at 5:10 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    I was driving in the Bay Area recently and saw a full sized billboard sign advertising for a medical marijuana clinic. The billboard seemed to be advertising "come and get it, everyone qualifies". I have no problem with having weed available to those who truly have a medical need, but it seems the law will be highly abused. No pun intended.

  • posted at 4:46 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    :He includes information from other cities where crime has increased around dispensaries, and the cities have had to do more police patrols in the area".Does anyone actually believe that Crime is LOW around Pot clinics or that No pot head or dealer doesn't want to RAID that Stash, including "Inside Jobs"?Pot Clinic in Lodi is not a good idea, but the city council will most likely approve it because the Clinic will "Stimulate the economy"...just as the Chrerokee Gambling joint has been so profitable to the City!

  • posted at 4:42 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    There are over 50 different types of "Soft Tissue Tumors! Some are Maligant, (Cancerous) and some are not!http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_1x_what_is_sarcoma_38.asp?sitearea=criSoft Tissue Injury:Management of soft tissue injuries consists of protecting the injured tissue; (1)Resting it with splints, (2) braces, or (3) tape; (4) ice; (5) compression; and (6)elevation and referral. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_tissue_injuryI see NO DESPERATE NEED TO GET HIGH to escape from the MASSIVE, LOL pain or discomfort of a soft tissue injury. But pot heads will "Milk it for all its worth". I'm sure Cheech & Chong were and Still are disabled!

  • posted at 4:37 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    This is 90% allowing pot addicts to get their pot faster, cheaper and 10% deserve access for (Servere Only) Pain! This should be controlled by a State Certified Medical Clinic basis with very tight scrutiny of patient, medical records, I-D and verified perscription. The Wrong Dr.; for the right money will prescribe pot for anyone! I have broken my back twice, have worn a back support 24-7 since 1988, and am on Methacarbamol due to back pain and muscle spasms! Do I want pot to, LOL.... "Ease my pain"? NO! Many drug addicts are begging California to legalize pot so they can "Stimulate the economy and themselves"! Besides the munchies and acting stupid and becoming poorer, pot does NOTHING for anyone except those in SEVERE Pain! Has anyone EVER seen someone going into a POT CLINIC looking like they were in "SEVERE PAIN"? I didn't think so! I also have a Hemangioma Tumor on my Liver. Hmmm.... I wonder if that could get me all the Pot I crave? NOT! Only a small percentage need pot, the rest just wanna get HIGH!

  • posted at 4:32 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Lodian, ask patton1.

  • posted at 4:27 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    weezer wrote on Apr 14, 2009 8:53 AM:" If there's a soft tissue injury, is there a hard tissue injury too? "Is this a serious question?

  • posted at 3:53 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    If there's a soft tissue injury, is there a hard tissue injury too?

  • posted at 3:47 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Brian Bader claims:Most of the people look like your grandmothers and mothers...". Yet whenever a pot advocate surfaces, they always resemble the "grown-up" stoner profile, not one of our grandmothers and/or mothers. His delusional statement has to have been dreamt up deep within a green fog.Bader is like the rest of the pot addicts who want easy access to what has become the master of their lives.

  • posted at 3:46 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    effa, I agree. I once thought these outlets were a joke until I had a family member prescribed marijuana for pain. His doctor is a reputable orthopedic trauma surgeon. Instead of becoming addicted to oxycontin it was suggested he used marijuana while recovering. Three years later he is doing fine and drug free.I also have a terminally ill elderly friend currently using medical marijuana for pain and to help stimulate his appetite. It works.

  • posted at 3:37 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    Those medical cards are a joke. Let be real, this is a way to get around the law. Bader has a soft tissue injury, what the heck is that?

  • posted at 2:51 am on Tue, Apr 14, 2009.


    this a a great tax revenue for lodi and the stste of california. if it is properly run and records checked reguarlly. lodi will see this is not only going to help the ones with card but also the tax increase from a legally run store. they do not sell to any one who dose not have a medical card in hand.



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