School administrators speaking to reporters from the Orange County Register have cited concerns that the medical marijuana dispensary’s location violates state law, adding that they feel it’s a bad influence on the students who attend the at-risk school.
Our Anaheim marijuana lawyers understand that the dispensary, which is on Katella Avenue inside a strip mall, is near an ACCESS program, which is for students between the ages of 13 and 18 who are considered at-risk, in some cases having grappled with alcohol and drug abuse issues. The entrance to the pot dispensary is within 100 feet of the school doors.
As of October 2010, California Health and Safety Code Section 11362.768 prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries from opening within 600 feet of a school.
That seems fairly straightforward. But what could make this somewhat tricky is that ACCESS is in not a traditional school and it is in an unconventional location. School officials insist that the same laws should apply. The dispensary, which displays the traditional symbol of a green cross, alongside a green cartoon house with a smoking chimney, has been operational for about six weeks.
Officials with the school have been working with their legal team to help shut it down. The principal has been quoted as saying that students who have displayed particular problems with drug abuse in the past could be particularly distracted by having the dispensary so close. He added that there are plenty of other places in Anaheim where it could operate.
State officials appear to agree with the school, underscoring that dispensaries have to maintain a 600-foot distance from schools. However, the enforcement of these operations is generally left up to the local policing authority.
Police officials in Anaheim said they know about the controversy and are exploring the legal options, but they haven’t taken any steps at this point to shutter its doors. That may have something to do with the fact that the City of Anaheim is embroiled in a legal suit right now over its city-wide moratorium which bans all marijuana dispensaries within city limits. It’s a high profile case, and officials seem to be waiting on the outcome of that case before taking any further action against Anaheim medical marijuana dispensaries.
A man who answered the door at the business said owners were exploring their options with an Anaheim marijuana lawyer, but wouldn’t discuss the site’s future plans.
A patient of the storefront dispensary defended its operation near the school, saying that high school students – even those considered at-risk – are mature enough to understand the difference between illicit and medicinal use.