Today, the City Planning Commission voted to approve city staff recommendations (city attorneys, planning department and council staff) to BAN ‘medical marijuana businesses’ in the city of Los Angeles. The city Attorney’s office is calling their new law a ‘gentle ban’ because it still allows for the activities that they think State law intended but bans storefront medical marijuana dispensaries.
They based the recommendations on the current status of the now famous Pack v. Long Beach case. The city of Long Beach implemented a similar lottery process, but the Judge ruled that ordinance violated federal law, ruling that the city was basically sanctioning the distribution of an ‘illegal drug’ and struck down the ordinance. The decision has since been appealed to the California Supreme Court. Citing pending litigation with a similar outcome, the L.A. city attorney decided against working to find solution that works for everybody; instead, leaving patients without safe access to their medicine.
The commission’s vote was transmitted to council today; meaning, it could appear on the next LA City Council agenda for a final vote as soon as Tuesday, January 31, 2012.
The Patient Advocacy Network put together a plan on how to help stop the ban:
Who: ALL members of ALL collectives in LA city limits directly to the LA City Council
What: SAVE OUR COLLECTIVES!
The LA City Council must hear your voice. The same 10 — 30 faces have appeared at City Hall advocating for safe, enforceable regulations for LA’s dispensaries for the last 6 years.
YOUR VOICE MATTERS!
The only way your voice is counted on any issue in LA is to file a Speaker Card at the beginning of any council, committee or commission meeting.
When your name is called, you get 2 minutes to address the council. When medical marijuana is not on the agenda, you can speak about the topic during ‘general public comment.’ When the topic is an agendized item, you speak your 2 minutes when the item is called to the floor.
When: Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 10:30 a.m. (may be the day Council votes), Wednesday and February 1, 2012, 10:30 a.m. (if it’s on this agenda instead). Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday are the council’s weekly scheduled days to meet.
Where: Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street (Downtown), Room 340 Public entrance is on the Main Street side of the building. Have ID.
You and your bag go through detection devices, much like court.
How: Never done this before? Don’t know what to say?
You will state your name and then identify yourself as a constituent or stakeholder in the city. “I work downtown,” “I live in the Valley,” etc.
You then want to clearly voice your support or opposition to their proposal. “I oppose this ‘gentle ban,’ I support my dispensary,” etc.
Make your story personal. “I’m a cancer survivor, veteran… Medical cannabis helps me…. My collective is so important to me because…. I rely on more than one collective because….” Remind them you support or oppose
the proposal and thank them for their time and consideration. Write it out, read it out loud, time yourself, edit, repeat.
BE PREPARED! Prepare a 2-minute and 1-minute version of your comments.
When a lot of people show up to speak, the council may choose to limit your time to 1 minute.
-Contact PAN if you have any questions