Dr. James Broderick will step down as the director of the county’s Department of Alcohol, Drug & Mental Health Services on March 23. During his 20 years of directing mental health departments here and elsewhere, Broderick said one of his proudest achievements was opening the doors to the Crisis and Recovery Emergency Services Center on De la Vina Street, which serves the mentally ill and drug addicted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Broderick will teach at Pacifica Graduate Institute and open a couples-counseling private practice with his wife.

A lawsuit against American Indian Health & Services scheduled to go to trial January 17 has been delayed until May to fit court calendars. The plaintiffs are former clinic administrative staff who allege they were fired because they were not Native American; the clinic director has responded that he replaced them with a more qualified team who are not Native American either.

Close on the heels of federal drug agents’ raid of 11 medical marijuana dispensaries in West Hollywood, Carpinteria city councilmembers voted unanimously to ban similar clubs in their town, citing concerns about crime and conflicts with federal law. Although marijuana advocates suggested that drug users and crime are also associated with liquor stores, councilmembers voted to extend their city’s current moratorium in order to allow staff sufficient time to draft an official ordinance. In the meantime, those seeking the palliative balm will have to drive up the road to Santa Barbara, home to nine dispensaries.

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