No More Pot Shops in LA

July 26, 2012

LA City Council voted to ban medical pot shops. The unpopular decision elicited a profane response from some advocates that were in attendance. LA's Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was there & ready to sign the ordinance, making the ban effective 30 days after.  About 900 dispensaries will be notified in writing of the ban. 

The city has been struggling with medical marijuana statutes for years. The goal has been to provide a safe and cost efficient way for individuals with a legitimate medicinal need for marijuana and still being cautious of local residents' and  opponents' concerns that neighborhoods were being taken over by pot users.  

The city tried in the past to order the closure of all pot shops but was unsuccessful due to lawsuits and appellate court rulings. 

Because of a recent appellate court ruling that would seemingly support the city's decision, the city feels as if they have a better chance against such lawsuits. 

The ban allows hospices and home health groups to provide medicinal marijuana to patients. 

One council member said the gentle ban will provide relief. 

California voters approved medicinal marijuana in 1996 with a doctor's approval. The state Supreme Court has decided to clarify marijuanas hazy legal status by addressing whether local governments can ban medicinal marijuana clinics. A hearing on the matter has not taken place yet. 

I do not understand how the state will legalize and then make it difficult for patients to purchase the needed drug.