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San Jose Begins The Process Of Shutting Down Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Acting on its new legal authority, San Jose officials are quickly launching a crackdown of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Late Tuesday night, the San Jose City Council voted 8-3, passing new rules that would ban medical marijuana dispensaries from residential areas.

San Jose Begins The Process Of Shutting Down Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Under the new rules, medical marijuana dispensaries would not be able operate within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, recreation centers, libraries or other marijuana dispensaries. They would also be banned within 500 feet of rehabilitation centers and within 150 feet of residential properties. That would leave only about 1,400 parcels of land – mostly in industrial areas of north San Jose – where the dispensaries could operate.

The council has ordered city staff to send letters to existing pot clubs, informing them they are illegal and need to shut down.

But at the council meeting, pot proponents argued that the industry generates over $5 million a year in city tax revenue.

"I just wanted to remind everybody that we did pass the tax measure with 78 percent of the vote," said Dave Hodges, founder of one of San Jose's first pot clubs. "The people in San Jose want marijuana."

Medical marijuana dispensary owners are threatening to gather signatures to overturn the new rules, which are scheduled to take effect early next year.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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