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LAPD to work with federal drug agents to close down medical marijuana clinics

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With the clock ticking down to the city’s complete ban on medical marijuana clinics, the Los Angeles City Council today asked police officers to work with federal agents and the District Attorney’s Office on ensuring that dispensaries close. 

Following a closed session discussion, the council directed the Los Angeles Police Department to partner with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in creating a citywide enforcement strategy. There are an estimated 800 to 1,000 collectives in the city, and on Sept. 6 they must all close.

The City Attorney's Office was also instructed to report back on ongoing litigation. Last week, the Patient Care Alliance-Los Angeles sued the city to stop enforcement of the ban. The group, which includes patients, vendors and clinic owners, argues there is a constitutional right to assemble for the purpose of using medical marijuana, which is legal under California law.

Councilman Bernard Parks, who announced the plan for LAPD to work with the DEA, assured his colleagues that they could be briefed on the strategy.

“Having worked with LAPD, I don’t think they ever just do what they want, but I would ask them to create a strategy and I have confidence that their strategy would be legal, well-founded and that they will enforce the law," he said.

Letters were sent to clinic owners last week, informing them of the need to shut down. Owners who do not shutter their doors could face a fine of $2,500 per days. The City Attorney's Office is hoping for voluntary compliance. 

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