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Fresno council bans marijuana dispensaries

Vote was 4-3 to stop stores from selling marijuana

The council chambers were filled with many who want to see stores or dispensaries sell marijuana for recreational use in Fresno.
 
"I would like to see you take and make it so I don't have to go out of town to get my medicine," said Arthur Anderson who would support a marijuana dispensary in Fresno.
 
"I'm just worried that you guys are going to take everything away and make me have to go to bakersfield or sf or oakland when it should be available to me here close by," said Andrea Lomescola.
 
Fresno banned medical marijuana dispensaries years ago.
 
But when Proposition 64 passed in November, it legalized marijuana for recreational use.
 
It gave cities and counties the chance to set their own standards.
 
A coalition of church leaders urged the council to ban stores from selling marijuana.
 
"We have seen first hand the devastation that this caused, to open up dispensaries where people would have greater access to that, would not alleviate problems. It's only going to cause more problems," said Jim Franklin, senior pastor at Cornerstone Church.
 
The vote on the council was close - 4 to 3 - with the majority for the ban on marijuana dispensaries.
 
"Today was specifically about the stores, are we going to allow them in the city of Fresno? And a majority of us feel it's not the right time at this point," said councilman Steve Brandau.
 
Council president Clint Olivier was in the minority and opposed the ban.
 
"It sounds to me like maybe there's a path forward on medicinal. But as far as recreational use in the city of Fresno, that's been dead and buried tonight," Olivier said.
 
The ban is for one year. The council could take up the issue again when the ban expires.

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