It's troubling that the council's action came on a second reading of the ordinance, after the council had approved the measure with no discussion and no public accounting of the repercussions of the measure.
One has to ask why the council blithely approved the ordinance in the first place, with no apparent knowledge of the measure's intended outcome. The council didn't ask any questions, and no explanation was offered.
It was only after the press — this newspaper, in fact — began asking the question, "Why such an ordinance?" that the real intent of the measure was revealed.
The planning commission, which had been tipped off that medical marijuana was the subject of a companion zoning ordinance placed before it, did ask questions — but got no answers.
Commissioners were reduced to asking city staff again and again, "Why are we doing this?" with no clear answer given.
Of course, the answers were there.
The Laguna Beach Police Department had, in fact, requested the ordinance in order to deal with problems they see from medical marijuana dispensaries in town.
But what problems? When? Where? Those answers have still not been forthcoming.
Laws cannot be made in the dark.
Medical marijuana dispensaries have a great potential for abuse, and city officials should not be condoning recreational drug use and looking away from problems that exist.
But until the council and the people of Laguna Beach are fully informed of the consequences of permitting such dispensaries — or outlawing them — no laws should be passed.
If medical marijuana is a problem in Laguna, the people deserve to know.
Only then should medical marijuana be eliminated — or allowed.