L.A., OC supervisors to consider medical marijuana dispensary ban
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a proposal to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county, which would cover territory with a population of 1.5 million people.
The motion is the first step toward reversing the county's 4-year-old policy on the dispensaries, which are allowed with strict prohibitions on their location: They cannot be within 1,000 feet of churches, day-care centers, libraries, playgrounds, schools and other sensitive uses.
In July, supervisors in a unanimous vote directed county staff to prepare an ordinance banning pot dispensaries.
Some supervisors have expressed concern that the dispensaries could attract crime. Another factor weighing on them is the city of Los Angeles' recent aggressive push to shut down dispensaries that are illegal under a city ordinance that took effect four weeks ago, raising concern that dispensary owners would be searching for a new home.
"It leaves the unincorporated portion vulnerable," Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said this summer.
The board, he said, needs to protect residents' "safety and property values."
At the same time, Supervisor Gloria Molina expressed dismay at illegal pot dispensaries that have sprouted in the San Gabriel Valley community of Valinda.
"It takes anywhere from six months to a year to close one down that is started illegally," Molina said.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors is also considering a similar ban at its meeting today.
-- Garrett Therolf
Photo: Credit: Los Angeles Times