Medical marijuana is too close to schools, protesters say

A Prince George's County church is trying to fight a plan to open a medical marijuana dispensary next door.

UPPER MARLBORO, MD (WUSA9) - Medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed too close to schools, parks and senior centers under a zoning ordinance now being considered by the Prince George's County Council, according to protestors who staged a rally outside the County Administration Building on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Council will consider a zoning change to reduced the proximity of future Medical Marijuana dispensaries from 500 feet to 300 feet from schools and parks. Protestors vow to be at the meeting to oppose it.

"It's an outrage, its preposterous and we ain't taking it," said Dr. James Love of the ConnectChurch on Allentown Way in Camp Springs.

Love and other church leaders are also demanding a zoning provision that protects houses of worship.

ConnectChurch, which occupies a series of storefronts in the Allentown Plaza strip mall, is next door to a space that has been under consideration by a dispensary license applicant.

Medical marijuana has been on a slow roll out since Maryland's legislature approved sales to people with doctor's prescriptions in May of 2013.

The first sales are expected to begin by the end of the year.

At least 102 prospective dispensary operators are on track to receive licenses statewide.  

Local jurisdictions may use zoning ordinances to restrict the locations of future dispensaries.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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