CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- At least two East Valley city councils plan to vote on new regulations in response to the passing of Proposition 207, making recreational marijuana legal in the state of Arizona.
The Chandler City Council will vote on Dec. 7 on an ordinance that would essentially prohibit recreational marijuana retail sales and marijuana testing facilities from operating in the city.
In a statement Monday, the MCAO said that it will begin implementing the will of the voters "immediately."
Ordinance No. 4949 states the following: Proposition 207 allows current nonprofit medical dispensaries in the state to become “dual licensees,” meaning they will be permitted to sell marijuana to medical marijuana cardholders for medical purposes and to non-cardholders for recreational purposes. Because there is a medical dispensary already operating within Chandler, the City Council would not be able to prohibit all sales of recreational marijuana.
While the City cannot prevent recreational marijuana sale and consumption in Chandler, the proposed Ordinance No. 4949 takes reasonable steps to limit sales activity in Chandler, as the law permits, by prohibiting any recreational marijuana retail sales that are not operating as a dual licensee and by prohibiting the operation of a testing facility.
Like Chandler, Mesa’s City Council will vote on Dec. 8 on regulating recreational marijuana in their city. Ordinance No. 20-1212, drafted by the city attorney’s office and police department.
In a memo to councilmembers, Mesa’s Police Chief Ken Cost and Assistant Chief Harold Rankin explain why councilmembers should pass the proposed ordinance.
"Based on lessons learned from other cities who respond to crimes related to recreational marijuana, there is a need to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public by prohibiting marijuana establishments and marijuana testing facilities and prohibiting certain conduct related to recreational marijuana. Further, this Ordinance will make the City consistent with other adjacent and nearby cities."
Mesa’s top cops also describe what they believe may occur should the ordinance not pass.
“…there is an increased likelihood that the City will have a disproportionate amount of recreational marijuana establishments or facilities in comparison to other cities, and in turn, increase public safety issues within the City that will require an increase in public safety responses.”
Both ordinances in Chandler and Mesa would also prohibit the use of recreational marijuana on city-owned property. Residents would still be able to use marijuana for personal consumption in certain private locations unless prohibited by the property owner.
Gilbert’s Town Council passed a similar ordinance unanimously during a council meeting in October.