With the city of Anaheim reportedly cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries, neighboring Garden Grove, which has a ban on pot clubs but last year allowed ones already operating as of June 30, now enjoys the dubious distinction of being Orange County's pot capital. Don't tell that to Garden Grove city councilman–and devout Mormon–Bruce Broadwater, though. “[J]ust to set the record straight, we are not, nor have we ever been, a marijuana-friendly city,” he stated in a press release issued by the city's public information office Wednesday.
On Jan. 17, Broadwater and the rest of the city council voted to suspend the city's registration program for medical marijuana dispensaries. In doing so, the city is citing the lack of legal clarity over whether cities have the right to regulate access to marijuana, a question stemming from the so-called “Pack” case in Long Beach, where patients whose clubs had been shuttered by the city for failing to obtain a city permit sued Long Beach, arguing that cities have no right to require such permits.
Yesterday, the California Supreme Court announced it will hear Long Beach's appeal of the Pack ruling, and on Feb. 14 is expected to issue its own findings on what cities can and cannot do. But Garden Grove is also pointing at the ongoing crackdown against medical marijuana dispensaries by the federal government, which includes seizing property from landlords who rent to pot clubs.
Garden Grove Mayor Bill Dalton apparently believes it's time for his city, which went from banning clubs to allowing them to doing nothing, to change course yet again. “I think it's a sign of fate how these recent developments are now two new tools we have to help ban rather than permit medical marijuana dispensaries,” he said.