San Diego Mayor Ends Marijuana Dispensary Crackdown


Dave Maass/San Diego CityBeat
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has ended that city’s crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries with a stroke of his keyboard

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has ordered an end to that city’s crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The mayor’s order decrees an immediate stop to the city’s practice of filing code-enforcement violations against the collectives.

Acting on City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s advice, the mayor sent a letter [PDF] to Kelly Broughton, director of San Diego’s Development Services Department, reports Dave Maass at San Diego CityBeat.

Re: Stop the Crackdown on Marijuana Dispensaries


I am writing to direct the Department of Neighborhood Code Compliance to stop targeted code enforcement against marijuana dispensaries in the City of San Diego immediately.

Further, pursuant to a letter from the City Attorney dated January 9, 2013, I am directing your Department to stop sending dispensary code enforcement cases to the City Attorney’s Office for prosecution. 

To be clear, if there are general code enforcement or health and safety issues arising from these businesses, you are expected to enforce those laws against these businesses in the same manner you would any other business. 

If you have any questions, please contact my office directly. 


Bob Filner


OB Rag
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has ended that city’s crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries with a stroke of his keyboard
The letter comes just two days after Mayor Filner publicly attacked Goldsmith for filing civil actions against dispensaries; at that time, Filner promised to testify on behalf of patients in court. Goldsmith then sent Mayor Filner a letter saying the mayor could stop him from going after the collectives in “30 seconds.”
The mayor’s Thursday letter, reproduced above, was his response.
Mayor Filner had already expressed his support for medical marijuana when he met with Americans for Safe Access San Diego (ASA-San Diego) last week, reports David Downs at East Bay Express. “With the support of people like Safe Access I was elected mayor of San Diego and I thank you,” he told the group last week.
On KPBS Midday Edition, Goldsmith said now that the mayor has done that, his office will leave dispensaries alone. “Without the Code Compliance unit sending us matters or providing us information or evidence or direction, yes, it’s over,” he said.
Goldsmith claimed his office only started going after dispensaries because the San Diego police chief requested it. 
According to Craig Gustafson at UT-San Diego, the mayor’s decision probably won’t lead to an explosion of dispensaries in San Diego because it only removes one law enforcement tactic to shut down the shops. The San Diego District Attorney’s Office can still proceed with prosecutions of dispensaries.
The mayor’s actions, of course, also won’t impact the ongoing federal crackdown on medical marijuana. The U.S. Attorney’s office is still actively trying to shut dispensaries down.

San Diego Americans for Safe Access
Mayor Bob Filner’s letter