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Compton school district sues city over pot shops

Illegal ‘pot’ dispensaries lead to Compton Unified School District suit vs. City of Compton; City outlines efforts to combat illegal activity COMPTON (MNS) --- Compton Unified School District has initiated legal action against the City citing

Illegal ‘pot’ dispensaries lead to Compton Unified School District suit vs. City of Compton; City outlines efforts to combat illegal activity

COMPTON (MNS) — Compton Unified School District has initiated legal action against the City citing that it has failed to enforce its marijuana laws. California state law already prohibits dispensaries from operating within 600 feet of educational institutions, but Compton’s municipal ordinance takes that a step further banning all marijuana shops outright. In a lawsuit filed April 1, CUSD alleges that a dozen marijuana dispensaries are now operating within city limits, three in the restricted zones of an elementary school, two middle schools, and a high school.

“The lawsuit is without merit and unproductive,” said City Attorney Craig Cornwell. The city has been working with law enforcement for years to combat illegal dispensaries and other businesses that create a nuisance for the community and operate without proper business licenses or permits. Because of the complexity of abating such illegal operations on private property, Mayor Aja Brown assembled a task force to find alternative measures to close illegal operations including hourly motels and marijuana dispensaries. As a result, a number of dispensaries have been shut down, and the city is also looking into altering the municipal code to impose stricter fines to property owners that allow illegal businesses to operate in their premises.

In response to the CUSD lawsuit, the mayor issued the following statement:

“Since 2013, we have been adamantly working to restrict the illegal operation of marijuana dispensaries through the deployment of a task force led by our city attorney and law enforcement. Seven dispensaries have been shut down to date.

“Additionally, I have recommended a policy change to our municipal ordinance that will impose higher fines on property owners that allow any business to operate without a valid business license,” Brown said.

As a result of reinforcing the responsibility property owners have for activities that occur on their properties, Brown said [owners] will be more motivated to assist the city in ensuring that unlawful businesses do not operate on their premises.

The mayor also emphasized the need for the city and the school district to work together in seeking solutions. “It is critical that public agencies, funded through tax dollars, work collaboratively to address public issues,” said Brown. “Litigation should be a last resort, not a first response. The only people who lose when a government entity sues another are tax payers, and in this case, our children.”

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton and the Los Angeles metropolitan area of California, and the world.

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