Public Safety Committee to hear proposed ban of LA pot dispensaries

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The Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee this week considers a proposal to repeal L.A.’s medical marijuana ordinance.

The ordinance allows about 100 pot shops to operate inside the city limits, but hundreds more actually do. And opponents say this is because the city doesn’t have the resources to stop them.

Councilman Jose Huizar, long an opponent of the dispensaries, says L.A. should close them all in the wake of a Long Beach judge’s ruling that says regulating them amounts to condoning the use of a federally-banned drug.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office agreed, recently recommending that L.A. shut down the city's medical marijuana clinics but still allow people to grow their own.

"It doesn't look like bans in other cities," said Special Assistant City Attorney Jane Usher earlier this month. "Most people think the ban means everything is getting cut and so we want to be very, very clear. Our ban is cutting edge."

In response to activists concerned about continued access to medical marijuana, Huizar says they should grow it themselves in collectives... as the state’s law intended.

"These collectives are supposed to be communal in nature where patients come together, grow their own medical marijuana and use and consume their own medical marijuana," said Huizar.

He went onto add that 15 pot shops operate in the Eagle Rock part of his district alone. He said they often attract crime and sometimes sell marijuana to minors.

His proposal for an outright ban must be approved by the city council.

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