Restricted, Raided, Legal?


The L.A. City Council this week finally approved a new, highly restrictive ordinance on medical pot dispensaries, as police raids continue. Also this week, pro-legalization activists submitted signatures for a full adult tax-and-legalize ballot measure for marijuana.

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The L.A. Times on the medical pot dispensary vote, and the immediate backlash against it:

Medical marijuana dispensary advocates assailed the Los Angeles City Council's vote today to approve a medical marijuana ordinance, saying the measure was unworkable and would dramatically restrict access to patients who need the drug....

The ordinance will allow most dispensaries that registered with the city in 2007 to continue to operate, a number that may be around 150. But those stores will still have to comply with the location restrictions, including being at least 1,000 feet away from schools, parks and libraries.

Many operators said today that they will be unable to find suitable locations because the City Council also added restrictions to keep the stores from abutting or being across an alley from residential property. Operators also said that landlords, aware that there are very few buildings that can meet the tight location restrictions, are already jacking up rents.....

The ordinance does not take effect until the City Council approves fees that dispensaries will have to pay, but the operators that have to move, which is most of them, are already racing to find locations....

By next year, it may be a lot easier for would-be marijuana vendors to find places to sell, if an initiative for adult legalization and taxation of the product wins. The L.A. Times on the legalization ballot measure:

Proponents of an initiative to make California the first state to legalize marijuana have collected about 693,800 signatures, virtually guaranteeing that the measure will appear on a crowded November ballot.....

The initiative would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to possess an ounce of marijuana and grow plants in an area no larger than 25 square feet for personal use. It would also allow cities and counties to permit marijuana to be grown and sold, and to impose taxes on it.....

In California, a Field Poll taken in April found that 56% of voters in the state and 60% in Los Angeles County want to make pot legal and tax it.

The website for the tax cannabis ballot measure.

Meanwhile, police raids on local medical dispensaries continue even as the ordinance is passed and legalization measure moves to the ballot.

The image associated with this post was taken by Flickr user KayVee.INC. It was used under user Creative Commons license.

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