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L.A. City Council votes to amend medical marijuana ordinance

The Los Angeles City Council, repeatedly warned that the city risked a return to the days when medical marijuana dispensaries were opening at an astonishing clip, voted Friday to amend its ordinance, altering key provisions that a judge declared unconstitutional last month.

The changes were forced on the council by the judge’s decision to issue an injunction that barred the city from enforcing those provisions that he concluded were illegal. He has since stayed his order, but it would take effect if the dispensaries that had asked for the ruling were able to post a bond.

Jane Usher, a special assistant city attorney, told the council that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mohr had made clear his injunction would leave the city with little power to shut down new dispensaries. “He’s put our feet to the fire,” she said.

Since the judge issued his decision, dispensaries have already boldly reopened. Usher said that it can take the city six months to two years to shut them down.

The council, with some members voting reluctantly, decided 12-0 to adopt the changes, a threshold that allows the revisions to become effective within about 10 days.

In the most significant change, the ordinance sets up a different process to decide which dispensaries to allow. A lottery will choose 100 dispensaries from those that can prove they were in existence on Sept. 14, 2007, the date the city’s moratorium on new stores became law.

The city’s attorneys and the council settled on that number after debating how many the city’s already short-handed departments could handle. The original ordinance would have allowed existing dispensaries that registered under the moratorium to apply to remain open.

Those dispensary operators objected strenuously, noting that a lottery could randomly eliminate some of the most law-abiding and best-run dispensaries. An estimated 135 dispensaries followed the city’s rules and are still in business. A lottery will eliminate a quarter of them and seems almost certain to draw more legal action from those that lose.

“I understand that this is not fair to many of the operators who are doing the right thing,” said Councilmember Ed Reyes, who led the effort to write the ordinance. But he urged the council to act, rather than return to lawlessness. “This lottery is what we can do now, as much as it hurts.”

ALSO:

Injunction issued against L.A.'s medical marijuana law

Medical marijuana case appears headed back to trial

Pot dispensaries banned in unincorporated L.A. County

-- John Hoeffel at Los Angeles City Hall

 
Comments () | Archives (12)

Ed Reyes is a joke. Gang Bangers rule our streets and kill at will and with no consequences. They even kill on Christmas day. When asked what Mr Reyes' office is doing about the gangs? "they are monitoring it", is the response. Fight the gangs Mr Reyes, not weed. What is wrong with your thought process Mr Reyes? Grow a set of balls and go after the gangs.

Must be affecting political pocket books. Has the Liquor and Pharmacy industries complained that they aren't getting what they pay for? It’s hard to buy a good political hack now a day with criminal investigations on going. Your political career could be a stake.

Once again the city council has no idea what it's doing. Enough said.

china had opium and the USA has weed.

Lull the population to sleep while other countries cook our bacon.

Or, you can let the economics work it out. Some will survive, some will not.

Is there enough demand for MM to support more dispensaries than Starbucks in the City of Los Angeles? Let the free market tell us. Tax the dispensaries and allow the free market to determine who fails or stays in business.

A lottery......are you freaking kidding me........that is the most pathetic thing i have ever heard.

For God's sake, allow all 135 dispensaries to remain. Did the hardships post their 350k bail??? If the so-so hardships posted 350k bail, why shouldnt all dispensaries open Sept 14, 2007 or before be allowed to stay open?? Tit for tat. The zoning will be a mess. The only dispensaries that should have to follow the 1000 ft rule are newer dispenaries that need to buy into the ordinance. The grandfathered ones should not have to move if they dont want to and allowed to move to the 1000 ft radius location if they want to.

I say Keep it illegal. I'd rather the drug cartels get my money than the LA city council. Anyone who's ever ran a business in LA will probably agree. The cartels at least make sense.

i hope they close all these weed shops down,they are bunch of drug dealing thugs from Russia.

I dont see what all the fuss is about the LA City Council is just doing their job. Making sure that the public needs are meant half ass, and their wants are never considered.

I understand this is fair to the operators that are doing the wrong thing


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