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L.A. City Council puts off marijuana vote until next week at the earliest

The Los Angeles City Council this afternoon postponed a vote on a medical marijuana ordinance until next week at the earliest.

Councilman Ed Reyes, who is overseeing efforts to craft a law, introduced a motion that would make a series of major changes to the proposal, and asked that the council take more time to review them.

He also noted that other council members had proposed numerous amendments. "This is only the tip of the iceberg," he said.

William Carter, chief deputy city attorney, agreed that it would be helpful for his office to have time to review the proposed changes to the ordinance that two committees sent to the full council on Monday.

Among the amendments is one that would reduce the distance to 500 feet from 1,000 feet that dispensaries must maintain from schools, parks, libraries and other places where children gather.

A city study showed that only a quarter of the 186 marijuana dispensaries legally operating under the moratorium adopted in 2007 would be able to meet the 1,000-foot requirement.

City officials have struggled for more than two years to write a law to regulate the dispensaries, which have proliferated across the city. Advocates say state law allows the collectives to sell marijuana to members who have a doctor's recommendation.

But Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley says state laws do not allow dispensaries to exchange marijuana for cash, and has vowed to prosecute them even if Los Angeles officials adopt a measure allowing the stores to operate.

Discussion is continuing this afternoon in the council chambers.

-- John Hoeffel at Los Angeles City Hall

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Comments () | Archives (21)

"Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley says state laws do not allow dispensaries to exchange marijuana for cash"

I can't find in the law where it states this.

According to the LAW the County and City Attorneys should be implementing a plan to provide for safe and affordable distribution of marijuana. Cooly and that nut of a City Attoney should be prosecute for violating the LAW.

SECTION 1. Section 11362.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

11362.5. (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

(b)(1) The people of the State of California hereby find and declare that the purposes of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 are as follows:

(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.

(B) To ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction.

(C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others, nor to condone the diversion of marijuana for nonmedical purposes.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no physician in this state shall be punished, or denied any right or privilege, for having recommended marijuana to a patient for medical purposes.

(d) Section 11357, relating to the possession of marijuana, and Section 11358, relating to the cultivation of marijuana, shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient's primary caregiver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician.

(e) For the purposes of this section, ''primary caregiver" means the individual designated by the person exempted under this section who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person.

SEC. 2. If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the measure that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable.


Your a political hack. If you go down this path I will make sure that my personal goal is to see you unseated. Your terrible and your going against the rule of law approved by the public. For shame sir.

The Council needs to not only give preference to the "original" 186 but also all other NPO Collectives. There are so many patients in the city of LA that we need about 500 to balance out the demand or we will allow the original 186 to become cartels.

How stupid is our regulatory society that they can’t see or envision this prohibition period we are in, this plant needs to be regulated just like alcohol and tobacco. We are filling our jails with non violent marijuana convictions and letting the Mexican cartels fill there pockets with money that should stay in our society and help regulate this plant but instead we are going broke. What we need to do is replace all incumbents with competent members that can invasion our future and not worry about there personal feelings. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE VOTED AND WILL BE VOTING YOU INCUMBENTS OUT SOON!

What a great story of personal freedoms for everyone not just folks who use/need medical cannabis but for everyone. Personal freedoms have always been under attack by power hungry elected officials but this action by the LA City Council shows collaboration between politicians and the people.
To bad you mentioned Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley in your story since he represents the Harry Anslinger's, Joe McCarthy’s and Dick Cheney's who’s interest is power through intimidation and fear.

Steve Cooley you're nothing but a Fooley!

Steve Cooley sounds like he just wants to make trouble. Sounds like he's set in his ways, with no chance of a change. These are the kinds of people we don't want in certain offices. We need level headed people who will look at the positive rather than the negative. If you measure the positive benefits of marijuana with the negative, you'll find that the positive out weighs the negative in an extreme manner. When I meet someone whom is a medical marijuana patient, they are very cool people. But when I see someone on Meth or on cocaine, I can almost bet there will be trouble with this person. If we take all the effort being used against marijuana and focus on Meth and cocaine, I believe that we will live in a much safer world.

Finally even the densest City Council members realize the truth: Trutanich is nothing but a puppet for his mentor and recruiter DA Steve Cooley, who is on a hell-bent rightwing war against not only what he sees as "the liberals" of this state and nation but against the Democrats on City Council, the Mayor, ALL OF THEM.

Trutanich ran on a platform of lies to SUPPORT the pro-medical patient community and shops that compled with the law and paid taxes but like with Laura Chick on the Controller issue and her supporters, ALWAYS meant to throw them under the bus after he used them for getting out the vote and money. This shameless lack of ethics speaks volumes about the two of them.

Many on the council supported Trutanich even though he, Cooley, Dennis Zine, former rightwing candidate (on Walter Moore's one issue anti-immigrant ticket) the Weiss Attack Dog and now pay-to-play special Assistant David Berger, and other rightwingers, all made clear on shows like KRLA's Kevin James and Doug McIntyre's KABC that they are intent on just this kind of rightwing crusade against THEM, NOT in doing public good. Trutanuch running as an "environmental attorney" when his whole career has been DEFENDING the worst environment toxic polluters, is just another aspect of his charlatan deceitful character.

Too BAD that neither the medical marijuana patient community, NOR Laura Chick NOR the Council NOR most of the media listened to the truth when they bought the lies of this guy's flashy PR campaign financed by the NRA, toxic polluters, the kinds of developers who have contempt for the public, and the rightwing faction of the Republican Party.

NOW it's important to continue to realize that all "advice" of Trutanooch and his masters Cooley and the Rush Limbaugh Republicans are self-serving for THEIR OWN future political ambitions. They do NOT even try to intend to follow the wishes of the people of California or L A and say so.

As Paul Koretz said today in Council, IF Trutanooch and Cooley (and their mouthpiece Bill Carter who has been top aide to BOTH) had the State ATtorney General even a little bit on their side, they'd have said so - instead of Carter duplicitously saying that "we contacted them but haven't heard back."

RIGHT, we believe that as much as we believe it when Carter tells us that Laura Chick and her Attorney Woocher agreed that he would work for free on the Controller case and never expected to be paid. (A claim he makes because ONCE she was quoted in THIS paper saying "pro bono" when she clearly MEANT Woocher was working for no money UP FRONT on promise of a fair settlement.)

Again, an outright lie, a pattern of lying and deceit from how they got elected to how they're trying to snow the public and bury those they deceived into supporting them.


I think its time for Mr Cooley to go, the will of The People is the issue here and under California law? The matter is settled.
Mr Cooley has stood opposed to the majority.

Medical weed is a big sham. When the public voted to legalize this, it was suppose to be for serious illnesses, such as terminally ill cancer patients, not a bunch of pot addicts. The doctors who issue these medical weed cards should have their medical licenses revoked, just as doctors who over prescribe other medications.

Where are the protections for public against exposure to medical weed smoke? There are none. People with medical weed cards can smoke this all day long (many do), and expose everyone around them to their hazardous smoke. We worry about automobile tailpipe emissions, but this is legal, to pollute everyone else's air with drug smoke?

This entire situation is completely out of control, and needs to be reined in.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley would do better to transfer this obsession to wiping out gangs and their murderous crimes instead ,or apparently, he too will soon be breaking the law.
Keeping dispensaries reasonably distanced from schools, libraries, parks, etc. is totally acceptable. However, his obsession with prosecution has gone too far. Go prosecute and execute gang members and leave law-abiding citizens alone. There are plenty of violent crimes and murders in L.A. to worry about instead of his reefer madness. Prosecute criminals, not law-abiders.

This issue needs to be carefully planned, but if the Mexican cartels wanted to hire a "consultant" to improve their business, they should pay millions in consulting fees to the D.A. ...
LA City Council, I hope you can implement a logical plan to meet the needs of true patients, fill the city coffers with $$$, and prevent the Mexican cartels from increasing their business by ensuring that none of the shops can be operated by the cartels. Spend some of the $$$ collected from sales of weed to fund the war on drugs like meth, ecstasy, cocaine, etc.

Funny, Cooley keeps saying that state law prohibits the exchange of medical cannabis for money.

Yet the California Compassionate Use Act (Heath and Safety Code Section 11362.5) specifically says that the state must "provide for the safe and AFFORDABLE distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana."

Affordable specifically means "low cost" not "free" or "bartered" or anything else of the sort.

Usually, the way to provide for a "affordable" supply of any product is to work to provide a plentiful and steady supply to consumers, not by prohibition.

Personally, I am willing to exchange some cash to buy Mr. Cooley some new reading glasses.

The City Council can't get anything done. They have been hemming and hawing about this bill for four years now. So what do they do? They delay it again. Just pass the bill already.

The potheads are going to whine and moan no matter what happens. They won't be happy until every 14 year old in Los Angeles gets stoned every day. Because you know, it's medicine! It must be good for everyone! It's a natural herb! It cures diseases!

Really, if you think that crowd cares about people with cancer and AIDS, then you must be smoking something.

Just pass the bill already.

Steve Cooley is a willing partner and pawn to large illegal drug cartels. He has spent his career on the public nipple, wasting millions going after the low-hanging fruit that is marijuana busts.

California has realized it's time to try another way, but Steve Cooley believes his feelings on the matter supercedes the will of the electorate.

I would expect this will be his last term in public office.

The time has come to recall Trutanich and Cooley!

Go gett'em Mr. Cooley! Thanks!

My friend's kid brother (19 years old) twisted his knee and was prescribed vicodin by his family doctor. The kid went online to Medicannusa.com and took his prescription to one of their center. After only one (1) consultation with their doctor, he walked away with a recommendation for a card. The doctor told him to use it on an "as needed" basis. Of course the kid get stoned everyday, and it's legal! You know what that mean: We are now legalizing (making it easier to obtain) marijuana for any kind of "serious" illnesses, which includes a sprained ankle.

Mr. Hoeffel, you should look into how teens are using the medical marijuana law as an alternative to getting from the street and how easy it is to obtain a card.

Turn the Tables - We license "patient users" the same as a drivers office. The license is issued by a City registered and licensed Medical Doctor. The doctors are located in medical trailers, one at each of the Police Stations. The patient must have a refferal from their regular doctor and pay a fee of $250 for a physical exam and blood tests. $50 go to the LAPD for registration fee. They are issued a picture license and a bracelet, which must be worn when inside a cooperative. Their prescription is in triplicate, one for LAPD, one for the Doctor, and 1 for State Pharmacy Board. They sign a document that if they share or give pot to anyone, they face a $500 fine and 6 months in jail. This will take care of the real sick people.

Regulate it and tax it as much as possible.
City should charge a $80,000 licence fee per year to operate one of these facilities, And the County Health should regulate it.

As a legal cannabis patient, collective member and Executive Director for the Beverly Hills NORML Chapter, I'm curious to know exactly which collectives will be targeted for a shut down.

Cheryl Shuman
Executive Director
Beverly Hills


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