SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) --The San Jose City Council deadlocked Tuesday night over how many marijuana dispensaries it should allow in the city. Simultaneously, pot club owners were giving it away for Election Day.
San Jose has grappled with what to do with medical marijuana for years. And once again, no decision.
The council kicked this contentious issue down the road again. Not all the council members were present so they deadlocked 5 to 5. They will be hearing the issue again next week when they hope the absent councilmember will be present. There was consensus on some of the issues. But obviously, not on all.
The council agreed on where to place the pot clubs. Mostly in industrial zones, not near schools, churches or residential neighborhoods. But they did not agree on where the marijuana that's sold could be grown.
"We're not in the agricultural business and we don't want to be," Mayor Chuck Reed said. "But we're forced to because neither the federal government nor the state government is telling us about the way to do this."
It was an anti-climactic ending for pot club supporters who began this Election Day with optimism.
Damian Gunther came to the All American Cannabis Club to get a discount on her medicinal marijuana. All she had to do was to prove she voted.
The club hopes the discount offer will encourage people who want pot dispensaries in San Jose to vote for candidates endorsed by the club.
The city council has been struggling for years to come up with laws regulating the operation and locations of the pot clubs.
All American Cannibis Club owner Dave Hodges says his club will live or die by those laws.
"If the council approves what they're currently talking about, it would be an effective ban shutting down most collectives in San Jose," he said.
But what the club is doing on Election Day, may be illegal. We asked Santa Clara County registrar Shannon Bushey about that.
"We've looked at the California election code, it doesn't seem to be in violation of that," she said. "But looking at federal code, it does appear there may be a violation."
Mayor Reed did not mince his words when he answered, "It is against the law but then we have an industry that operated in violation of federal law every minute every day."
A group called Sensible San Jose collected enough signatures to place their own referendum in the November elections -- 38,000 signatures to be exact. They say they'll turn the petitions in on Wednesday.
If there is a referendum, Mayor Reed says he'll lead the campaign against it.