cannabisnews.com: LA City Council To Rush Vote on Medical Pot Law

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††LA City Council To Rush Vote on Medical Pot Law

Posted by CN Staff on October 21, 2009 at 08:46:32 PT
By John Hoeffel†
Source: Los Angeles Times†

Los Angeles -- With its moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries declared unlawful, the Los Angeles City Council is now poised to act quickly on a strict ordinance that it has struggled with fitfully for more than two years.On Tuesday, the city attorney's office delivered a draft that some members want the council to take up within a week. The sudden acceleration stems from a Superior Court ruling Monday that left the city unable to enforce its ban and derailed its four-month-old drive to shut down new dispensaries.
"We painted ourselves into a very tough position and now we act," said Councilman Ed Reyes, who has overseen the drawn-out effort to write an ordinance. "If we can do this Tuesday, I think we'll be OK."The city's failure to pass an ordinance or enforce its moratorium allowed the number of dispensaries to explode. There are now hundreds in the city, by most estimates, and new ones continue to open almost weekly. Neighborhood activists have angrily complained that the council has lost control. The proposed ordinance contains provisions that could make it one of the most restrictive in the state.Under the latest proposal, most dispensaries would be required to close immediately and could not apply to reopen for six months. The 186 dispensaries that registered with the city when it passed its moratorium in 2007 would be allowed to remain open for six months, but then would have to meet the ordinance's requirements.The ordinance could effectively outlaw most dispensaries in the city by prohibiting sales of medical marijuana. Both City Atty. Carmen Trutanich and Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley maintain that state law does not allow over-the-counter sales, though they say collectives owned by the members are allowed to recoup their expenses. Dispensary operators say the sales, usually in 1/8 -ounce increments, are meant to cover their operating costs.Council members have become increasingly frustrated with dispensaries flagrantly violating the ban and the state's requirement that they operate as collectively-run nonprofits.Some of the council members most involved in the issue have begun to press for the tough measure."We are going to ban sales," said Councilman Dennis Zine, who said he has discussed the issue with colleagues. "The profit margin is what's gotten them going. They're not in there to help people, they're in there to make money."Councilman Jose Huizar, however, said he was studying all the relevant court cases to try to decide whether to ban sales, a complicated and contentious issue that has contributed to the council's extended deliberations.No other city or county appears to have tried to directly restrict sales, although some require collectives to maintain detailed records to prove their nonprofit status.Yamileth Bolanos, who runs Pure Life Alternative Wellness Center and is president of the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance, said dispensary operators were stunned at the sudden turn of events."I understand that they are going to try to rush [the ordinance] through, but it doesn't work for us. Essentially, it's just going to wipe us out," said Bolanos, whose group of 54 dispensaries has worked with the council for many months to try to reach a compromise. "This is a very unfair thing to us."The ordinance requires collectives to keep records on members and suppliers and to make them available to police, which operators fear could leave them vulnerable to federal prosecution even though the Justice Department on Monday formally told its prosecutors not to pursue medical marijuana users and dispensaries that follow state law.The draft ordinance also adds a provision that requires collectives to notify council members and neighborhood councils of their plans to open, and another that bars anyone who was convicted of a felony within the previous 10 years or who is on parole or probation from managing a collective.In addition, the ordinance would limit the number of dispensaries by requiring them to be at least 1,000 feet from schools, parks, libraries, religious institutions, child care facilities, youth centers, hospitals, medical facilities, substance abuse rehabilitation centers and other collectives.The ordinance also would restrict the dispensaries' operations. They could be open only between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. They could have no more than 5 pounds of marijuana or 100 plants on hand, and marijuana could not be consumed on site. They also would not be allowed to sell or manufacture edible marijuana products.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author:   John HoeffelPublished: October 21, 2009Copyright: 2009 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: http://www.latimes.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/AW58TRMaCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml

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Comment #19 posted by Had Enough on October 23, 2009 at 10:00:37 PT

Correction Notice...#18
Last line should have been...Until then it is all local, and only local support.

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Comment #18 posted by Had Enough on October 23, 2009 at 09:56:51 PT

Canis420 re: #14
I donít think that cartoon will be aired on the TV ad machine, unless a station shows it in one of their news reports regarding the amendment, which is probably more wishful thinking than anything else.In the meantime it needs to be posted all over the Internet. Every little bit helps...There are only about 25,000 signatures turned in so far. The signature drive needs to be kicked into high gear in order to make the 2010 ballot.The way I understand it, the signatures gathered now will also be valid for 2012. Once 100,000 signatures are gathered, national support will come into play, and then we will see things progress at a much faster pace. Until then it is all local and only local support.

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Comment #17 posted by FoM on October 22, 2009 at 16:42:35 PT

Related Article From The LA Times Blog
L.A. Tries To Speed Up New Law on Medical Marijuana DispensariesOctober 22, 2009URL: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/10/la-tries-to-speed-up-new-law-on-medical-marijuana-dispensaries.html
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on October 22, 2009 at 16:39:00 PT

MMJ Ordinance Fast-Tracked by LA City Council
URL: http://www.scpr.org/news/2009/10/22/medial-marijuana-ordinance-fast-tracked-la-city-co/
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Comment #15 posted by schmeff on October 22, 2009 at 11:24:05 PT

Ideally, they will be located on the moon!
"In addition, the ordinance would limit the number of dispensaries by requiring them to be at least 1,000 feet from schools, parks, libraries, religious institutions, child care facilities, youth centers, hospitals, medical facilities, substance abuse rehabilitation centers and other collectives."(I'm assuming there is not a single city block in L.A. that doesn't have some sort of child care facility or other 'collective'. Who defines what's a collective? Is an apartment complex a collective?)No such restrictions for Big Pharma's powders, pills and poisons.

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Comment #14 posted by Canis420 on October 21, 2009 at 23:46:11 PT:

Comment #8
Is that cartoon airing anywhere in florida...if we dont get some serious advertising we are not gonna make it
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on October 21, 2009 at 12:44:56 PT

mydnytmover
The reason it didn't work is because when you use the link url if it's too long it cuts it. Posting in the comment section like you did solves that problem.
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Comment #12 posted by mydnytmover on October 21, 2009 at 12:15:57 PT

last URL did not work
http://www.expressmilwaukee.com/article-8416-medical-marijuana-advocates-wonrst-wait.html
http://www.expressmilwaukee.com/article-8416-medical-marijuana-advocates-
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Comment #11 posted by mydnytmover on October 21, 2009 at 12:08:36 PT

Medical Marijuana Advocates Wonít Wait
Wisconsin could legalize pot for chronically ill people
By Lisa Kaiser
http://http://www.expressmilwaukee.com/article-8416-medical-marijuana-advocates-
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Comment #10 posted by mydnytmover on October 21, 2009 at 11:26:46 PT

wisconson Gov. Doyle
MADISON, Wis. - Gov. Jim Doyle says he supports legalizing medical marijuana in Wisconsin if a law can be written that restricts its use to people who have a doctor's prescription.At an appearance in Wausau, Doyle says he has no problem with the use of marijuana to treat severe pain and other medical conditions, if it's prescribed by a doctor.
 
More:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-doyle-medicalmari,0,6430803.story?track=rss
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 21, 2009 at 10:51:56 PT

Medical Marijuana: An Excuse To Get High
October 21, 2009URL: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bal-marijuanaletter1021b,0,3803842.story
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Comment #8 posted by Had Enough on October 21, 2009 at 10:50:46 PT

PUFMM Cartoon PSA
People United For Medical Marijuana - PUFMM.ORG - Cartoon PSAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahHozo2Db_A************http://www.pufmm.org/http://www.meetup.com/People-United-For-Medical-Marijuana-Orlando/http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=127343055695

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Comment #7 posted by museman on October 21, 2009 at 10:23:05 PT

Let Them Breathe Smog
Or not. Choices not made result in industrial disease.Sorry for the unfortunates who cannot leave modern Sodom-and-Gomorrah, but like Hempworlds' sentiments;"So glad not to live in L.A."People want to live in hell, its their choice. And other than those who cannot leave, because they can't walk out of that putrid city, I have no sympathy for those who value their slave jobs over their health, safety, and welfare. Tow that line, lift that bale, feel the whip? Stupid ...oops I mean 'intellectually challenged' people get what they opt for.CARPE DIEM - LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on October 21, 2009 at 09:51:00 PT

"They're not in there to help people, 
 they're in there to make money."Cosopt is the medicinal eye drop I use for my glaucoma treatment. Without it and or cannabis my optic nerve would burn itself out!Cosopt cost $720.00 per ounce at the local drug store. The same exact brand name eye drops cost $125.00 in Sweden, England and Canada. Please do not criticize people who want to make a living selling herbs to people who want them for a price set by the market.Must be the Season for Idiot Boys!
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 21, 2009 at 09:44:34 PT

Now, Let's Decriminalize Marijuana 
By Ethan NadelmannOctober 21, 2009URL: http://www.carolinalive.com/news/story.aspx?id=365809
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 21, 2009 at 09:37:50 PT

C.A.: MMJ Dispensary Can Reclaim Money Seized
C.A.: Marijuana Dispensary Can Reclaim Money Seized by PoliceOctober 21, 2009URL: http://www.metnews.com/articles/2009/pot102109.htm
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 21, 2009 at 09:30:54 PT

Grassley Slams Justice Departmentís MMJ Decision
October 21, 2009URL: http://iowaindependent.com/21057/grassley-slams-justice-departments-medical-marijuana-decision
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 21, 2009 at 08:57:48 PT

Doyle: Medical Marijuana Restrictions Senseless
October 21, 2009Madison, Wisconsin -- Gov. Jim Doyle says he supports legalizing medical marijuana in Wisconsin if a law can be written that restricts its use to people who have a doctor's prescription. At an appearance in Wausau, Doyle says he has no problem with the use of marijuana to treat severe pain and other medical conditions, if it's prescribed by a doctor. Doyle's comments come after a decision by the Obama administration not to prosecute users and suppliers of medical marijuana in the 14 states where it's been legalized. The decision is a clear break from the policies of the Bush administration. The governor says restricting the use of medical marijuana makes no sense when doctors can already prescribe more dangerous drugs like morphine. Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, http://www.wpr.org Copyright: 2009 Associated PressURL: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-doyle-medicalmari,0,6430803.story
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on October 21, 2009 at 08:51:54 PT

Los Angeles City Council
is a total joke, so glad not to live in LA.Hey guys Los Angeles City Council, why don't you screw it up some more.
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