San Diego approves rules for medical pot shops

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego has passed regulations allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to legally operate in the city.

U-T San Diego reports ( ) that the City Council on Tuesday voted 8-1 in favor of new zoning laws allowing up to 30 pot shops in some commercial and industrial areas. The move is a step toward culminating a yearslong battle between patient advocates and those fearing harmful effects on neighborhoods.

The ordinance limits four dispensaries to each of the city's nine council districts. Some districts had fewer than four possible locations.

The vote came after two hours of public testimony. Medical marijuana advocates shared stories of suffering from illnesses that only the drug could ease. Opponents spoke of concerns about increased crime and drug use by teenagers.

The California Coastal Commission now must approve the measure.