Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Council OKs third ballot measure on medical marijuana

San Francisco Patients Smoke Marijuana

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A third measure regulating medical marijuana clinics will appear on the May ballot thanks to a vote of the Los Angeles City Council.

It’s official: a third medical marijuana measure is headed to the City of L.A.'s May ballot.

The proposal from L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz would limit the operation of storefront clinics to those stores that opened prior to the city’s marijuana moratorium in September of 2007. It would increase the taxes paid by clinic owners, from $50 per $1,000 of gross receipts to $60, and place restrictions on operating near schools and libraries.

The measure is backed by a coalition made up of Americans for Safe Access and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. That group has its own measure on the May 21 ballot. However, organizers hope voters will see the City Hall proposal as something of a compromise. A third measure on the ballot, from Angelenos for Safe Access, would increase the tax on shops but not limit the number that can operate in the city.


LA City Council to review airport's public education contracts

LAX Thanksgiving

Ben Bergman

Councilman Dennis Zine, a candidate for city controller, wants to review contracts awarded by LAX to educate the public on delays caused by ongoing construction.

The Los Angeles City council is looking into nearly $4 million in contracts to educate travelers on construction at LAX. 

The Board of Airport Commissioners approved three contracts totaling $3.8 million last week:

  • The Phelps Group, $1. 6 million
  • AdEase, Inc., $1.55 million
  • Nothing Films, Inc., $690,000

Los Angeles World Airport’s Mark Adams told the city council that their purpose is to explain to passengers why the terminals and nearby roadways are under construction and how it'll affect their travel plans. 

“What this is to do is to inform the traveling public, inform locals, inform anybody who would be coming to LAX about the nature of the impacts that they would see at LAX and what is coming to LAX after that construction period,” Adams said.

Councilman Dennis Zine, a candidate for city controller, introduced a motion to review the decision. The board's seven members are appointed by the mayor. The councilman, who represents the third district, said he was particularly concerned that two of the contracts were given to companies based outside the city. (The Phelps Group is Santa Monica-based; AdEase is out of San Diego.)


Two medical marijuana measures inch closer to May ballot

People smoke a joint during a demonstrat


Two measures that would regulate medical marijuana clinics will likely appear on the May ballot thanks to a vote of the Los Angeles City Council.

In a preliminary votes Tuesday, a majority of the Los Angeles City Council backed a measure to place competing medical marijuana initiatives on the May ballot.

A third proposal from Councilman Paul Koretz could also be placed on the May ballot when the city council revisits the issue next week. Because the two measures were approved 8-4 Tuesday, they will require second votes next week. The four dissenting votes were from Council members Mitch Englander, Jose Huizar, Bernard Parks and Jan Perry. (Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Eric Garcetti were absent from meeting.)

The first measure would limit medical marijuana permits to only those dispensaries that have been in operation and compliance since September 2007.  The second measure would allow an unlimited number of clinics to operate, while also increasing the city’s tax on them. Clinic owners now pay $50 per $1,000 of gross receipts. This measure would increase that to $60.


LA City Council considers third medical marijuana measure for May ballot

Medical Marijuana

Michael Juliano/KPCC

L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz is pushing for a ballot measure that would allow some medical marijuana clinics to remain open while implementing restrictions on operating hours and location.

A third measure regulating medical marijuana storefronts in Los Angeles could be headed toward the May ballot.

The Los Angeles City Council voted 11-1 Wednesday to draft ballot language that would allow some existing clinics to remain in operation while formalizing restrictions on where the shops can be located. Only those clinics that were opened prior to September of 2007, when the city first approved a set of rules for dispensaries, could remain open. Even then, they would be have to meet requirements including:

  • Ban consumption on the premises
  • Close from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Pay taxes
  • Prohibit minors
  • Conduct LAPD background checks on employees
  • Operate more than 1,000 feet from schools, libraries, parks and religious institutions

The city estimates there are 800 to 1,000 clinics operating in the city. Only about 180 of them opened before the 2007 restrictions took effect. 


Central City Association releases endorsements for LA City Council's 2013 races

Los Angeles City Hall

Alice Walton/KPCC

The Central City Association backs Councilmen Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino for re-election.

A downtown pro-business group on Thursday endorsed two incumbents and five candidates for open seats in the Los Angeles City Council 2013 race. 

The Central City Association endorsed councilmen Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino for re-election.

“The council members have proven to be effective leaders who have helped us to create jobs and housing throughout Los Angeles,” said Carol Schatz, president and CEO of the Central City Association. 

In races where there are open seats, CCA endorsed:

  • Gil Cedillo, First District
  • Bob Blumenfield, Third District
  • Felipe Fuentes, Seventh District
  • David Roberts, Ninth District (includes a portion of downtown)
  • Mike Bonin, Eleventh District

The primary for all of those seats is set for March 5, 2013. Most of downtown is in District 14, which is represented by José Huizar, who is not up for re-election.