Pot smokers sue San Diego, say long drives to dispensaries pollute air

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October 22, 2016
Denver, CO

Medical marijuana smokers in San Diego say the city has forced their pot shops to locate in remote areas and that means the drives to and from will increase air pollution — and ultimately, harm their lungs.

The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients has filed a lawsuit, saying the city is violating the California Environmental Quality Act, United Press International reported.

The suit names as defendants the Coastal Commission and the city of San Diego and claims the zoning laws put in place for marijuana dispensaries means patients have to actually get in their cars to drive to the remote locations — and the additional drive times will only increase the city's air pollution levels.

On top of that, some patients, perhaps those without cars, will now have to grow their own marijuana plants, an activity that further contributes to global warming, the suit says, UPI reported.

"The ordinance caps the total numbers of cooperatives at 36 and places a limit of four per Council District," UMMP claims in the lawsuit. This "extremely restrictive approach" will require "thousands of patients to drive across the City of San Diego to obtain their medicine because cooperatives are only allowed in certain limited places in the city, which will create traffic and air pollution."

The suit seeks to remove the zoning ordinance until the defendants can devise a new approach that meets the CEQA, UPI reported.

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