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Union gathers signatures to get medical marijuana regulation on the ballot

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The regulation of medical marijuana is back — again — as a local union collects signatures to get an ordinance on the city of Los Angeles’ May 2013 ballot.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 submitted an ordinance to the City Clerk’s Office that would allow small groups of no more than five patients and caregivers to grow medicinal cannabis together. About 100 clinics that opened and registered with the city prior to Sept. 14, 2007 would be exempted from regulation. Clinics would have to pass annual LAPD background checks and maintain their distance from schools and parks.

The UFCW will have to collect 41,138 valid signatures by Dec. 7 to get the ordinance on the city’s May 2013 ballot.

It was just a month ago that the Los Angeles City Council repealed a ban on medical marijuana clinics after organizers gathered enough signatures for a referendum on the ordinance. That ban would have allowed groups of no more than three patients to get together and grow their own marijuana. 

Local politicians, meanwhile, are still waiting on a decision from the state Supreme Court on whether local municipalities can regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

California voters approved marijuana for medical uses in 1996. Use of the drug is still prohibited under federal law.

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