Half of last year's recommendations by civil grand jury were implemented

This year’s watchdog panel finds that half of the recommendations made last year were implemented

clambert@thetribunenews.comJune 15, 2013 

About half of the recommendations suggested by last year’s San Luis Obispo County civil grand jury were carried out by the various government agencies that jurors had studied.

This year’s grand jury reviewed seven of the 11 reports released by the 2011-12 grand jury, which required responses to 153 recommendations.

Grand jurors found that cost was often the reason given when their recommendations were rejected, according to a report, “Grand Jury Legacy: Responding to Recommendations,” released Wednesday.

Of the 153 recommendations, 73 were implemented, 47 were rejected, 15 are set to be put in place and 18 others are under review.

Grand jurors found the most resistance in response to a report about medical marijuana, which criticized the regulation of dispensing medical cannabis in the county as subjective and inconsistent.

Jurors wrote that the county has effectively stopped “brick and mortar” medical marijuana dispensaries from operating locally but had done little to regulate the mobile services that sprang up to deliver the medication to patients — creating a “gray market” and putting the well-being of patients who rely on the product at risk.

The seven cities in the county all prohibit storefront medical marijuana dispensaries. The report wasn’t intended to advocate the use of medical marijuana but suggested that local governments can take steps to make it safer for those legally authorized to use it. It also acknowledged the “legal confusion” surrounding medical marijuana laws.

Of its 33 recommendations on the issue, only two were implemented: Arroyo Grande added mobile delivery services to its rules prohibiting storefront operations, and the county now requires delivery services to have a business license and seller’s permit.

The county also responded that it’s handcuffed until the state sorts out contradictions between state and federal law regarding cannabis.

Other findings

Last year’s grand jury also reviewed how well community services districts shared public information, such as budgets, board agendas and minutes, on their websites.

The grand jury commended Los Osos and Nipomo for their websites, but the panel found three services districts without websites: Avila Beach, Linne Road and Creston Hills Ranch. Avila Beach activated its website shortly after the report was released; Linne Road has also developed one.

The grand jury’s reports can be viewed at http://slocourts.net/grand_jury. The 19-member jury is an official body of San Luis Obispo Superior Court and serves as a local government watchdog. Its reports are nonbinding.

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