By Thy Vo | 9 hours ago
On the afternoon of April 20, or “weed day,” the ubiquitous holiday for marijuana enthusiasts around the globe, pro-marijuana activists prepared to turn in the 2,992 signatures they’d collected for a ballot initiative repealing a citywide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.
That same day, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies served an eviction notice that shut down Green Tree Remedy, the Stanton dispensary that financed signature gatherers for the ballot initiative, known as the “Fair Treatment of Veterans and Disabled Citizens Act.”
The ballot initiative not only would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in town, it would limit the number to three and the city would be required to issue a business license to 8871 Katella Avenue, home to Green Tree Remedy.
The ballot initiative and eviction are the latest developments in a long-running battle over medical marijuana between the city of Stanton and Green Tree Remedy, both of which claim to be doing what’s best for city residents.
Marijuana and how to handle its increasing legality in California is a significant issue for many communities.
Organizers for the dispensary argue the ballot initiative is about protecting access to medical marijuana for veterans and the disabled in a city where officials are determined to eliminate dispensaries.
Green Tree Remedy has been operating in Stanton without a business license for more than four years, although the dispensary says it has tried to get one repeatedly and has been denied each time.
Mayor Pro Tem David Shawver says he’s not against medical marijuana, but for a 3.2-square mile city that recently raised its sales tax to deal with a fiscal emergency, he doesn’t think Stanton can afford the law enforcement costs associated with having a dispensary in town. The city contracts with the Sheriff’s Department for its officers.