Medical Marijuana Faces Rollback in L.A.
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Medical Marijuana Faces Rollback in L.A.
Posted by CN Staff on January 19, 2010 at 15:02:22 PT
By John R. Emshwiller
Source: Wall Street Journal
Los Angeles -- After months of wrangling, the city council tentatively passed an ordinance to regulate the hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries that have popped up here in the absence of municipal restrictions.The new law, which is expected to get final approval next week, would sharply limit the number of dispensaries to no more than about 137, with the aim of eventually getting the number down to 70. The city has no exact count for how many dispensaries are operating currently, but several hundred are estimated to be exist.
Use of marijuana by qualified patients for medical purposes has been legal in California since a 1996 voter-passed initiative. However, implementing that law around the state has led to numerous controversies and a number of court battles. Los Angeles, where the absence of clear municipal guidelines allowed dispensaries to mushroom, has been the epicenter of the debate.Critics, including law-enforcement officials, contend that proliferation of dispensaries here has contributed to crime and other problems in neighborhoods. They argue that many of the dispensaries are nothing more than illegal drug-selling operations hiding behind the 1996 initiative. Advocates of the dispensaries counter that the vast majority of operators are law-abiding citizens providing a valuable service to people in need. Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who doesn't answer to the city council, has said he would move criminally against dispensaries he felt were violating state law.Besides shrinking the number of allowed dispensaries, the new Los Angeles city ordinance puts in some tight location restrictions. The dispensaries will be required to be minimum distances from residential areas and locations such as churches and schools. Councilman Ed Reyes, who has been a leader at the council on the marijuana dispensary issue, said the rules would tend to force remaining operations into industrial zones. Mr. Reyes, who had proposed less restrictive location requirements, said that for "folks truly in need it will be harder to get medicine."Mr. Reyes and others involved in the issue say they hardly expect the passage of the ordinance to be the end of debate. Asked if he expected legal challenges from dispensary operators and others, Mr. Reyes replied, "In a big way."Source: Wall Street Journal (US)Author: John R. EmshwillerPublished: January 19, 2010Copyright: 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.Contact: wsj.ltrs wsj.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on January 20, 2010 at 08:26:33 PT
My comment 10 was in response to your comment 8.Also, I agree with your reflections shared in comment 8... entirely.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on January 20, 2010 at 08:19:47 PT
Mosquitoes? This is your second or third mention of mosquitoes lately.Are you having mosquito trouble?Blood sucking drug testers?
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on January 20, 2010 at 08:17:35 PT
Walmart took over.
Lowe's and Home Depot put a lot of local people out of the retail business.Often, local business owners find themselves working for the large chain store conglomerate that put them out of business.
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on January 20, 2010 at 08:12:33 PT
I have a great deal more respect for the blood sucking mosquitoes, their strait forward approach and honest objectives, than I do for these folks!Of course I still swat the snot out of them but I do it with respect!
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Comment #8 posted by dongenero on January 20, 2010 at 07:57:54 PT
new regulations in LA
I think you're right in comment #3 Hope. If you consolidate competitors in a market, either "organically" as Walmart does by putting Mom and pop businesses out in the "free" market....or whether you consolidate a market artificially by legislation such as this, the market demands will still be fulfilled. One way or another. This is expressed in the "Walmart" effect as large, single source stores that fill all the needs in one supersized dealer, as opposed to all the former small businesses.The same may happen with marijauna in LA. By whatever means, the market will be fulfilled. The question is, will the resulting fewer, large "Walmart" modeled dispensaries be tolerated or is it just happy day legislation for the LA City Council, handing the marijuana market back to street dealers and Mexican Cartels?If they think crime related to dispensaries is bad, wait till the Cartel violence is is full bloom in LA.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on January 19, 2010 at 17:28:18 PT
Persecution and discrimination
Cannabis users and the plant itself is simply being discriminated against.There is no such regulations for alcohol, yet alcohol is undoubtably a more serious and more dangerous substance.The cannabis prohibitionist is able to do these mean deeds to other people only because the plant is being persecuted and there are people ready willing and able to persecute other people given the oppertunity.The election coming up in Cal. will help remove the ability of the bad people to persecute citizens who choose to use cannabis.It is a shame there are people who want so badly to persecute and discriminate. Pathetic types... Sickening...Mosquitoes.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on January 19, 2010 at 17:21:38 PT
Many persecutions are still in place
and likely, will be for awhile, but we're all pushing and pulling the best we can, everywhere, and in some places the tax payer's dime isn't being used to break into people's home and throw them on the ground and sometimes kill them and their animals as much as it used to be.I hate the actions of the government agencies in the war on drugs and the war on cannabis and I hate knowing that I'm paying people to treat people that wrong.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on January 19, 2010 at 17:17:33 PT
And it's good. Something is being done. It's part of it becoming legal and the persecutions and all the crap to stop.It's good. It's the way forward.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 19, 2010 at 17:13:49 PT
What's so interesting to me is the basis of the articles anymore. It's not so much pot is bad or pot is good but more like trying to put some form of a business order to it all. 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on January 19, 2010 at 15:50:54 PT
I'm guessing that means "Close".
Hmmm. Maybe some of these entrepreneurs should make partnerships with others of themselves and make use of existing equipment, supply, expertise, testing, etc., in these fewer, but necessarily, larger businesses.Real corporations co-ops. Twenty to a hundred owners or something. All working hard to do a good job and keep the price down.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on January 19, 2010 at 15:45:28 PT
Comment 1
To do what with them?
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 19, 2010 at 15:44:04 PT
LA City Council Moves To cCose Pot Dispensaries
By Greg Risling, Associated Press Writer January 19, 2010LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday tentatively approved an ordinance to close most of the city's medical marijuana dispensaries, winding down months of debate on how to limit the rapid spread of such clinics.The ordinance, if passed next week by a simple majority of the 15-member council, would cap the number of dispensaries at 70 and require them to be at least 1,000 feet from "sensitive uses" - schools, parks and other public gathering spots.The local law would put an end to the proliferation of pot dispensaries. As many as 1,000 have cropped up over the past few years. The ordinance would also likely force remaining clinics that comply to move to industrial areas because of the distance requirement. Four dispensaries were open in 2005 when a local medical marijuana law was discussed by city officials - who acknowledge the ordinance won't solve all the problems."I think it's a beginning point," Councilman Ed Reyes said after Tuesday's meeting. "We have to get control of this issue and shape a policy to make medical marijuana more accessible to those who need it."While other California cities such as San Francisco, Oakland and West Hollywood have been able to regulate medical marijuana, Los Angeles city officials have discussed an ordinance for years, trying to adopt language that jibes with state law.The number of clinics exploded this year - more than 600 over the past 10 months alone - despite a 2007 city moratorium prohibiting new medical marijuana dispensaries. The shop owners took advantage of a loophole known as a hardship exemption that allowed them to open while awaiting city approval.However, more than 180 clinics qualified to remain open because they came before the ban was enacted. About 137 of those dispensaries still exist and would be allowed to remain open if they meet other requirements in the new ordinance.Medical marijuana advocates argue the council's inability to provide clear regulations has led to the growth of pot shops in Los Angeles. Residents also have grown frustrated with the bottleneck as they've seen dispensaries creep closer to their homes.Kristin Yoder, who runs California Alternative Caregivers in Venice, said the dispensary boom has hurt her clinic business. Her rent has gone from $2,500 per month to $7,600, and her patients have gone elsewhere."Other dispensaries advertise, solicit people on the streets," Yoder said. "It looks bad on us and it's because there haven't been any regulations.Even if the ordinance is signed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, dispensary owners are unsure they will be able to operate without being arrested. They have said they sell marijuana to their customers as a way to cover their expenses.The ordinance states that "no collective shall operate for profit." However, "cash and in-kind contributions" as well as "reasonable compensation" would be accepted.Some law enforcement officials believe any cash trading hands is illegal under state law.Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said his office will target pot clinics that profit and sell to people who don't qualify for medical marijuana. Cooley said he believes state law authorizes the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes but not the sale of the drug.City Attorney Carmen Trutanich had also sought to ban sales at dispensaries, but the council ignored his advice.Under the ordinance, dispensaries would have to close until they comply with the new local law. City officials would seek an injunction against those who don't. The ordinance wouldn't take effect until city officials determine the registration fees collectives would have to pay.Fourteen states, including California, permit medical marijuana. Pot, however, remains illegal under federal law. Copyright: 2010 Associated PressURL:
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