Cities, police chiefs support regulating medical marijuana

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) For the first time, the League of California Cities and the California Police Chiefs Association are supporting proposed legislation that would sanction medical marijuana shops and cultivators of the drug.

The organizations are co-sponsoring SB 1262, legislation that would regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivators.

"We've decided it's really much better for the people we serve at the city level and for the people of our state to help design a very limited state regulatory role," said Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities.

Just what that regulation would look like is yet to be determined. But, the position taken by both organizations is significant, as both entities have long opposed regulatory legislation that might legitimize the marijuana industry.

The proposed bill would places restrictions on doctors who recommend medical marijuana to patients.

But, McKenzie made it clear that the legislation would not infringe on communities opposed to having medical marijuana dispensaries within their jurisdictions.

SB 1262 would not interfere with cities and counties, which can retain local control over allowing medical marijuana dispensaries within their boundaries, said McKenzie.

Both Bakersfield and Kern County are opposed to medical marijuana shops operating in city and county limits.

It's still too early to say if SB1262 would be passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor.