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City Council Clarifies Ban on Medicinal Marijuana in Parks

The City Council made clear that medical marijuana is not allowed in the parks, including in any designated smoking areas.

The South Gate City Council on Tuesday night unanimously clarified the rules about use of medicinal marijuana in the parks.

Since the 1950s South Gate has prohibited the consumption of alcohol, narcotics and drugs in the parks. The council action makes sure that the soon to be designated smoking areas in the parks are for tobacco users only.

“We wanted to make it clear that there are to be no intoxicants in the park,” said , director of parks and recreation. “You can’t use drugs or anything that will change your emotional state while at the park.”

Confusion over this rule in the past had led some residents with medicinal marijuana prescribed by a doctor to smoke marijuana in the parks.

After passage of with areas for smokers, the South Gate police department recommended that the city clarify the rules for those using medicinal marijuana.

“[The police] have in recent times approached individuals that were smoking marijuana at the park,” said Adams. The individual would usually just flash a prescription to the officers to prove his or her right. “[The police would] then inform them that [the use of marijuana] is not allowed in the park.”

The council also unanimously approved the the South Gate Police Department's use of funds from an Alcohol Beverage Control grant for enforcement of controlled substances.

“It’s important because it allows us to take advantage of grant funds that are to be used for basic alcohol sting and under cover operations,” said .

Examples of these include surveillance operations of a liquor merchant who might be selling alcohol to minors. They also could conduct undercover stings in which they ask members of the Explorers, the department's youth program, for help.

This sort of work is usually done by police officers outside of their regular hours and the grant gives the police department almost $9,000 to pay officers performing these tasks.

“They do this on their days off, on an overtime basis, so they can concentrate solely on these operations,” said Chief Davis. “Absent these grant funds, we would not be able to do these operations because we have [a] restricted budget and are limited on our overtime funds.”

During its meeting, the council also approved the installation of a new $30,000 scoreboard for the . The money will come from the rent that pays the city for its use of public land.

The council also issued a proclamation honoring the South East High School Jaguars for winning the Division II All-City Football Championship. 

malcolm kyle January 25, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Some simple facts: * A rather large majority of people will always feel the need to use drugs, such as heroin, opium, nicotine, amphetamines, alcohol, sugar, or caffeine. * Just as it was impossible to prevent alcohol from being produced and used in the U.S. in the 1920s, so too, it is equally impossible to prevent any of the aforementioned drugs from being produced and widely used by those who desire to do so. * Due to Prohibition (historically proven to be an utter failure at every level), the availability of most of these mood-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish within an hour. * The massive majority of people who use drugs do so recreationally - getting high at the weekend then up for work on a Monday morning. * A small minority of people will always experience drug use as problematic. * Throughout history, the prohibition of any mind-altering substance has always exploded usage rates, overcrowded jails, fueled organized crime, created rampant corruption of law-enforcement - even whole governments, while inducing an incalculable amount of suffering and death.
Conservative Christian January 25, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child or grandchild thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes; it would put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods.
SG Resident 90280 January 25, 2012 at 07:08 PM
The Patch makes it sound like South Gate is doing something new. It's already CA law that you can't smoke medical marijuana where it's prohibited (see below). If South Gate is banning smoking in parks, they are only trying to comply with the state. ------ 11362.79. Nothing in this article shall authorize a qualified patient or person with an identification card to engage in the smoking of medical marijuana under any of the following circumstances: (a) In any place where smoking is prohibited by law. (b) In or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence. (c) On a schoolbus. (d) While in a motor vehicle that is being operated. (e) While operating a boat.

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