California city temporarily restricts alcohol, marijuana sales to help prevent big social gatherings

One city in California is restricting alcohol and marijuana sales to encourage residents to avoid large social gatherings on St. Patrick's Day in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The city of Lompoc temporarily prohibited alcohol sales at on-site, alcohol serving establishments within the city beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday until 12 p.m. Wednesday, March 18. The prohibition also applies to cannabis sales at cannabis lounges in the city. 

"St. Patrick’s Day celebrations typically draw large crowds throughout the country, which would be in conflict with the governor’s recent executive order to cancel or postpone all large non-essential gatherings, to close bars, and to reduce restaurant capacity by 50 percent," the city wrote in a press release.

The city says that the move was in an effort to encourage residents to avoid large parties on St. Patrick's Day, "for their own safety and the welfare of others."

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