City Asked To Limit Pot Clinics

City Asked To Limit Pot Clinics
Posted by CN Staff on July 27, 2005 at 09:56:27 PT
By Dan Laidman, Staff Writer
Source: Los Angeles Daily News
California -- Los Angeles took a step Tuesday toward regulating medical marijuana, with the LAPD calling on the city to limit where clinics can operate.Los Angeles Police Department officials said they would like city leaders to prevent medical marijuana distributors from opening near homes, schools, colleges or recreational sites. Similar restrictions have been enacted in other California cities, although confusion -- especially between state and federal law -- still clouds the issue.
Nonetheless, city leaders are developing regulations so they will be prepared if the law eventually is clarified, said City Councilman Dennis Zine, a retired police sergeant who initiated the city's review."There are still unresolved questions," said Zine, who represents the west San Fernando Valley. "I want to make sure we're proactive and not reactive; I don't want to be behind the curve on this." The civilian Board of Police Commissioners approved an LAPD report that called for limits on where clubs can be located, noting that criminal activity can be common near such dispensaries.The report said there are four known dispensaries in city limits, including one in Van Nuys, but there are likely more that are "secretive." An Internet search and calls turned up at least four active clinics in the Valley.Police say they have fielded dozens of complaints about the dispensaries from the public and patrol officers, and said activities at two dispensaries -- one in Hancock Park and another in West Hollywood -- have led to 16 arrests.No one answering phones at the Valley dispensaries would comment Tuesday, although a spokeswoman for the Oakland-based Americans for Safe Access said it is bad policy to penalize law-abiding clinics for the actions of others."The standard should be on the behavior rather than on these arbitrary zoning limits," Hilary McQuie said. "This kind of distaste against medical marijuana patients I find really discriminatory."Zine said he bases his concerns on his reading of the Compassionate Use Act, the law passed by California voters in 1996 that allows the use of medical marijuana."It was so loosely written that anyone and everyone could receive a prescription for that," Zine said. "We want to make sure they're in the areas that are not going to negatively impact on the surrounding neighborhoods."The U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that federal authorities can prosecute people for drug violations in spite of state codes. However, the high court did not invalidate California's law.Now that the police have weighed in, Zine said, the City Attorney's Office and the Planning Department will look at the issue before it goes to the City Council. Source: Los Angeles Daily News (CA)Author: Dan Laidman, Staff WriterPublished: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 Copyright: 2005 Los Angeles Daily NewsWebsite: dan.laidman Americans For Safe Access Medical Marijuana Archives
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