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.