Today is a sad day for safe access to medical marijuana in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles City Council voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Under the ban, each of the 762 dispensaries that have registered with the city will be sent a letter ordering them to shut down immediately. Those that don’t comply may face legal action from the city.” The Los Angeles Times article went on to say, “In a seemingly contradictory move, the council also voted to instruct city staff to draw up an ordinance that would allow a group of about 170 dispensaries that registered with the city several years ago to remain open.”
An article by LA Weekly stated, “The core of the ordinance says that medical marijuana “businesses” will be banned until a “regulatory scheme” can be realized by the city, ostensibly after various challenges to similar bans and other pot shop regulation schemes are decided by the California Supreme Court.”
So what does that mean for medical marijuana patients that aren’t lucky enough to be included in a group of three that actually gets quality medicine before such a decision is rendered? I have yet to hear a solid argument that is enough to justify letting patients suffer…A second vote is scheduled for next week, which if the outcome is similar to the last vote, would result in the ban going into effect within 90 days.
In reaction to the dispensary ban, California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) said he would refine AB 2312 and try to re-introduce the measure to the legislature. The proposed legislation would create a California board to create, implement, and enforce regulations on mmj, and require all dispensaries to register with the state and pay sales tax.
“AB 2312 represents my best effort to regulate this industry that has existed in a patchwork of regulations and laws for the past 15 years and has the support of 80% of Californians,” Ammiano said in a statement. “While I feel that this is a good policy proposal, having the (legislative) committee involved to work out issues through their process will make it great.”