The Ventura City Council got an earful from medicinal marijuana users before voting to ask staff to write up a medicinal marijuana dispensary ban.
The proposal passed in a 5-1 vote. One council member was absent. Carl Morehouse was the only council member to vote against the proposal.
Mayor Mike Tracy, Ventura's former police chief, proposed the idea.
Tracy said his law enforcement background was not the reason for his proposal.
He said he was motivated by a recent California Supreme Court ruling that allows municipalities to ban brick-and-motor and mobile dispensaries.
Tracy said the jury is still out on whether smoking marijuana is the best way to get THC, the medicinal ingredient.
But supporters of medicinal marijuana told the council it was not fair to make sick people drive to other cities to get the medication they find useful.
Many said an ordinance would make them feel like criminals. They compared it to prohibition.
Tracy said it may take several months before the ordinance is voted on. He said the public will get another chance to comment before a final vote is taken.