The Danville Town Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to adopt smoking and medical marijuana bans within town limits. The added section 32-94 of the Danville municipal Code bans medical marijuana dispensaries within Danville town limits, while the amended section 13-2.3 prohibits smoking on all town-owned and maintained recreational facilities.
Citing news reports and findings that show a crime increase in cities that house medical marijuana dispensaries, the Council found the ban necessary to protect the public health and welfare of Danville residents. More importantly, it seems as if residents agree.
"I have not heard from anyone in the community that we should open a dispensary," said Vice Mayor Candace Andersen at a recent Town Council meeting. "Quite the contrary, I have heard great opposition in our local blogs."
The permanent ban will prohibit dispensaries and forbid conditional land use permits, variances or licenses for distribution. It will go into effect in October.
"Once it goes into effect, this will replace the moratorium that's been in effect since October 2009," said City Attorney Robert Ewing, "and residents both for and against this shouldn't notice any difference."
In an effort to curb second-hand smoke within public areas, the town's Parks and Leisure Services Commission proposed a smoking ban within all town parks earlier this month. The adoption of this ban means that smoking will be prohibited in all community parks, trails and neighborhood parks -- a total of 194 acres.
The amendment includes posting signs, providing education and fining offenders up to $100.
"Since parks are spaces for improving health and fitness it seems counterintuitive to have smoking," said Recreation Services Manager Michelle Lacy in a recent Town Council meeting, "It seems like a logical step, especially since we like to promote a healthy lifestyle."
Both ordinances were originally presented at a meeting on Sept. 6 and will go into effect 30 days after the adoption date, on Oct. 20.