Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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Proposed regulations assert medical pot dispensaries linked to crime

Language in proposed regulations for medical marijuana businesses that links dispensaries to violent crimes and gang activity exaggerates potential problems, Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin said.

Reviewed by the city’s Recommending Committee today, a preamble to Las Vegas’ proposed regulations says that “dispensaries and the medical use of marijuana are correlated to myriad negative secondary effects such as...violent armed robberies, burglaries, traffic, noise, drug and gang activity, organized crime and other issues...such as money laundering and firearms violations.”

It goes on to say the odor of marijuana plants is “offensive to many” and “creates an attractive nuisance, alerting people to the location” of the valuable plants.

Coffin, who noted that he would become a medical marijuana customer to replace opioids he takes for pain, said he found the language offensive.

He said that while the language was added to appease unnamed people who don’t want to move ahead with licensing medical marijuana facilities, “it misstates or overstates potential problems.”

Last month, the City Council approved zoning requirements for medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation facilities and production facilities. A total of 12 dispensaries will be permitted in the city.

The City Council is scheduled to review and could vote on the proposed ordinance Wednesday.

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