Pot Shots

This week on SoCal Connected we're reporting on the explosion in the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the area. Here's a few items and facts about Los Angeles pot clinics:

Bay Area vs SoCal
Who has the best restaurants, baseball teams, lifestyle and art museums? Now add pot shops to the rivalry between LA and the Bay. Depending on your point of view, LA is either miles ahead, or quickly sinking into the abyss.

California NORML maintains a list of medical marijuana dispensaries. It's not all-inclusive, but it is a fairly comprehensive list of places that provide pot. The site lists about two dozen dispensaries in the bay area - about 20 in San Francisco, four in Oakland and only two in Berkeley.

For the LA area, the list runs to more than 250 establishments.

Other Socal Locations
A number of area municipalities have successfully either banned clinics, or have placed moratoriums on new ones. San Bernadino, Redlands and Yucaipi have laws banning dispensaries. Loma Linda, Yucca Valley and Montcliar have moratoriums in place. West Hollywood's ordinance limits the number of pot shops to four, and Palm Springs will only allow two.

The Rest of the World's Watching
Australia's Brisbane Times been picking up some of the stories written by the LA Time's John Hoeffel on the clinics. He and others, including The Washington Post have reported that the Mexican cartels that control most of the marijuana trade (and finance many of the illicit pot groves inside the US) are taking notice of the legal marijuana business, and may see it as a threat.

The BBC recently reported on medical marijuana, focused on Oakland, and posited that California was moving toward legalization of pot.

And Australian reporter Henri Paget, of NineMSN News, showed his viewers down under just how easy it is to score in Los Angeles. He got a prescription, then took his camera into an LA pot shop to make a purchase.

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