Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

L.A. tries to speed up new law on medical marijuana dispensaries

Medpot  Left with no law controlling medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, the City Council now plans to take up its long-awaited ordinance as soon as the first week in November.

Councilman Greig Smith today decided not to hold a hearing in his Public Safety Committee and send the proposal straight to the council to speed it along.

Council President Eric Garcetti’s office indicated that it would not come up next week, but possibly the week after.

On Monday, a Superior Court judge ruled that the city’s moratorium had been illegally extended and issued an injunction that prevented the city from trying to shut down Green Oasis, a dispensary on Jefferson Boulevard west of the 405 Freeway.

City officials acknowledged the decision effectively made it impossible to enforce the ban against other dispensaries.

“I am very disappointed that the judge won't let us do our job,” Smith, the chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said earlier this week, adding that it would force the council to move quickly.

The council’s planning committee has spent years debating how to control dispensaries and just recently sent the proposed ordinance to Smith’s committee.

The measure, drafted by City Atty. Carmen Trutanich’s office, would prohibit sales of medical marijuana. In Smith's view, that means most dispensaries would be forced to close, including the 186 that the city allowed to operate despite adopting a moratorium on dispensaries in 2007.

“I would prefer to stop all sales of medical marijuana in the city, but the ordinance proposed by City Atty. Trutanich comes as close as the law will allow,” he said. Most dispensaries in the city sell marijuana and pay state sales taxes, though operators say the transactions are donations and they are just recouping their operating costs.

Both Trutanich and Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, however, believe that most, if not all, dispensaries are operated for profit. Under state law, collectives and cooperatives formed by patients and caregivers can cultivate marijuana, but must be nonprofit.

The proposed ordinance would require all the dispensaries that opened after the moratorium to close immediately, and bar them from reopening for six months. The original 186 dispensaries would be allowed to remain open for six months to give them time to comply with the rules.

-- John Hoeffel

Photo: Medical marijuana. Credit: Los Angeles Times archives.

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

H1N1 flu cases surge across California as doctors report vaccine shortage

Pharmacist testifies he refused to fill drug order for Anna Nicole Smith

City attorney says L.A. 'wasted a lot of dough' on Michael Jackson memorial, defends quest for payment

Schwarzenegger signs bill boosting NFL stadium plans in San Gabriel Valley

Dozens of gang members arrested in South L.A. sweep

Medical marijuana poll: Most L.A. voters support dispensaries

Roman Polanski might be open to extradition, attorney says

Community meetings to focus on wildfire protection plan for Santa Monica Mountains

Comments () | Archives (23)

And if they shut them down, everyone will go back to calling their old hook up to get it anyways.

Dumb & dumber is the only thing I can say about this...don't get it twisted, that is exactly what will happen...the flow of MJ will keep flowing throughout the county, it will just be back to being underground.

All the dealers in the county must be salivating at this announcement.

Shut them all down. The City Attorney and the D.A. are right. We don't need all this trouble in our city.

"The measure, drafted by City Atty. Carmen Trutanich’s office, would prohibit sales of medical marijuana."


Wouldn't that put the City Attorney at odds with the State law?

The people will remember this nonsense come election time.

Non ABA student Trutanich wants to closes business based on his belief and not actual facts. Mr. Trutanich, perhaps your non-ABA law school failed to teach you the rule of law concerning evidence to support your belief.

It is time to recall this idiot Trutanich. Trutanich will do more harm to the city of LA than good.

With NO PROOF the bully Trutanich wants to shut down ALL sales period.

Tohell with the law...tohell with sick people who can't grow...too bad for them according to Trutanich.

Well I say this bully must be stopped so once again the city & county will be sued and loose in court. A judge will shut down this crookTrutanich and send him packing. I just hope the voters of LA kick him out of office in the next election...he is NO FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE.

Trutanich is just a bully & thug with a 1500 dollar suite & a bad haircut.

LA you had 11 years to work this out but did little next to nothing....now you're in a hurry???


Maybe the City Council members should sample a dose of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, as those of us with cancer do, to assess just how severe the side effets are, most notably nausea. This is always the problem with those in power - they are the least qualified to make any rulings. Nor do they care about the sick that might use pot as a medicinal prescription to quell the devastating effects of treatments. Perhaps they should pull their heads out of their butts, either legalize and control it to make their own revenues (is this the problem, they are not getting their share?) or concetrate on the murders, rapes, violent crimes, and gangland activity that actually does affect every citizen of Los Angeles. The Council needs to get with it instead of clinging to their puritanical hypocrisy like the stubborn junkyard dawgs they wanna be.

These poll results should be cross-posted and passed on to Trutanich and Smith. They have totally lost touch with the will of Angelenos on this matter:

Thank Heavens.. All the druggies can go back to prison, and get leave our God fearing society. Time for decent folk to take a stand and FIGHT the dismal tide.

With all the unsolved murders and violent crime in Los Angeles, is it really prudent to spend our limited resources chasing a bunch of potheads around? How about addressing the ever growing gang problems??? I don't get it. Someone needs to get their priorities straight.

does anyone knhow if this applies to city of los angeles and county or if its just the city of los angeles

Here we go again. Another tough decision for out fabulous fifteen (fourteen as CD2 is vacant) and Eric Garcetti is wringing his hands and delaying even considering the law that will shut down the 1,000 pot shops openly violating the law. Please, for once have the guts to take a stand on something that matters to the people of your city.
We all know that the pot shops and doctors are a joke. Anyone can get a prescription to smoke dope if they have $25, and can get high for $50. Stop it before the Federal Government steps in and stops even the whole show. Those who really need pot, instead of want pot, can get it through real collectives. The rest of the sore feet brigade are ruining it for those who need it to survive.

Reigning in dispensaries that are operating outside the law will no doubt create a better environment for those patients and collectives that ARE abiding by the law. It would be a shame if profiteers created a bad impression of a good plan: Allowing doctors and patients to decide on appropriate care, and allowing those patients to cultivate a little marijuana. The eyes of the Nation are upon you, California. We're all rooting for you to get it right.

Let's see, the PLUM/ planning and land use committee, had cobbled out an approach which took into account the views of the medical cannabis people, the patients and caregivers, and shops which have been operating and legit for years, paying taxes, even becoming members of chambers of Commerce. The people who are all FOR reigning in and shutting down illegal shops, those which opened without permits or have done anything illegal or shady which puts them all in a bad light - from attracting a seedy clientelle loitering inside or out, to selling to minors, ANYthing at all less than strictly above-board.

The PLUM Committee had just added Paul Koretz who as State Assemblyman authored a State bill that enabled storefront shops to operate legally, including in West Hollywood which he represented until recently.

The pro- medical cannabis community had lobbied HARD for Koretz and with such a low turn-out election may have made the difference in his victory. JUST AS they did for Trutanuch the new City Attorney, who vowed to be a lot MORE FAVORABLE to the pro-medical cannabis communty than Rocky Delgadillo was OR Concilman Jack Weiss would have been.

This community went out in FORCE walking precincts, calling and voting, being responsible for as thousands of votes. The day after on May 20th blogs like aboutmedicalcannabis.com were ECSTATIC that their "good friend" Trutanuch had won and happy days were to come. Yeah, right - check out the shock and sense of betrayal since. Also a well-written blog be a medical cannabis seriously ill patient, waronme.blogspot.com. The journal of ASA (Americans for Safe Access) has some solid legal research as well. The Calif. State Attorney General Brown and State Courts have affirmed that storefront sales are legal, and a blanket ban is GUARANTEEING lawsuits this grandstanding City Attorney and fellow rightwing Republican buddies Councilman Zine and DA Steve Cooley will NOT win. TAXPAYERS will pay.

NOW as the matter is about to go before PLUM with KORETZ there, Zine and conservative Smith persuade the Council to wrest the issue OUT of PLUM and put it before the full Council? (Which won't hear it for at least 2 weeks so "fast-tracking" it is nonsense.) Maybe they want to circumvent Koretz and Huizar, and the months of work that went into cobbling an agreement that would satisfy public safety/ the law BUT avoid the inevitable lawsuits?

Gaucho is right... people are going to smoke either way.
So do we want them getting it from a regulated store front with a security guard and some sort of quality control measures or do we want them getting it from drug dealers and gang members in the streets? Which causes more trouble??

They are spending taxpayer money to shut down the shops just so they can increase drug related crime in the city and lose the tax revenue they bring in. All the while, a vast majority (74%) of of those taxpayers think they should just let all the stores stay open: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/10/poll-most-la-voters-oppose-closure-of-dispensaries.html

There is a quite a stink starting to come out of Trutanich's office... and not the of the medical variety.

What the hell happened to this board???? Things appeared that weren't there before. Looks like Trutanich is on the board again...can you stop putting in his posts? He's law enforcement, I wouldn't put it past him to hack into the system and sneak in supportive comments. I made a copy of the story with the posts...and now it is all different, and supportive things have appeared
hmmmm, wouldn't put it past Trutanich

Arnando, you sound alittle too close to the source. We all know it's YOU TRUTANICH...freaking out because so many can't stand you? Stop pretending. That's all you and Cooley do is pretend!

do what u want

if your trying to stop medical marijuana u might as well throw away because your going 2 hell ..weed makes sick people feel better ..WEED IS LA GET OVER IT

I think that medical marijuana selling isnt a big deal as the government or council interprets it. Honestly people need to be medicated with something that is less harmful to the heart as your(PILLS). Really if your gonna take medical marijuana out of the market take your pills to. United States is in dept and Medical Marijuana is a good way to helpm the debt, so take advantage and tax it. im only 16 and writing personal opinion on obvious reason.

I have a marijuana prescription, and yes, I sometimes see people at the doctor's office or at the dispensary who don't look sick. But I know looks can be deceiving. For all the opportunists using the opportunity to get pot legally, there are dozens of people who need it. I just don't understand the obsession with this issue. Kids are getting shot just trying to go to school, get an education, and better their lives. If law enforcement really wants an issue, they should stick with what's really important. It's like abortion: if you want one, you'll get one. If you want pot, legally or no, you'll find it. Now, can we please get beyond this?

MoonshineDelight - With a name like yours, you have the chutzpah to insist that prohibition works?

Yeah, make them illegal, after all, the Mexican Cartels are losing money! They only have your KIDS to sell to now! And believe me, they will never card your kids before selling them dope.

Put the Mexican Cartels out of business, Legalize, regulate, and TAX cannabis!
After all, it's only your fellow American Citizen you're trying to oppress.

The City Council has bummbled for the last two years that we (Medical Marijuana Patients & Providers) spent attempting to work with them in bringing solid workable regulstion to LA. Now here they sit after being told by many of us patients whom are not attorneys that they could not legally extend the ICO which they did any way.

Those of you that believe the city should just be ri of all these shops are the minority and that is the bottom line. For years we have tried it your way and it has not worked. Now it is time to try other things based on truth and fact vs the way we did it when it was your choice by lies and deciet.

The truth is that Cannabis does have medical efficacy and it is here and here to stay if we have to go to court to see this through than so be it at a cost to taxpayers at a time when the city really can not afford more litigation.

In addition those of your that think closing these shops is going to make the quality of life better here in LA need to pull your heads out of the sadn and realize that since there have been MMJ dispensaries in LA there has been less violence,check the stats if you do not believe me.

As a CT citizen, i know little about LA Nevertheless, i know enough about politics to say that theres some unidentified factor here. Drug companies control the nation, maybe they're losing revenues because of both medical marijuana and the economic crisis that exists in our country. maybe the criminal underworld made a shady deal with politicians. im not sure, but the impatient nature of the bill makes me think theres some classified inside information the public is being denied access to. whatever it is, this shouldn't be passed unless theres some gigantic issue with laws that have been in effect for more than a decade. as far fetched as some of my theory's may be, if this passes, theres some "serious stuff" going down. i mean up to $72 million in lost revenues, thats too big to brush off as "oh, this drug is bad for us" (which is mostly inaccurate by the way, not to mention the criminal element getting a larger amount of control in the Cannabis trade. it's time for this nation to wake up and smell the crap, if you will. the stinking pile of crap they've been shoveling upon us, claiming it to be something of worth.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: