The latest move in the chess game between Los Angeles’ medical marijuana dispensaries and the city officials was made yesterday when the L.A. City Council voted 11-2 to repeal their own controversial ban on the collectives instituted in July. With the repeal the issue will not be left up to voters in a March election and the roughly 1,000 dispensaries in Los Angeles will remain open for the time being.
But the pot shops are far from in the clear – city officials are hopefully optimistic that a recent federal crackdown will mean that many of the facilities will soon wind up being shuttered by federal authorities without the use of city resources.
Many dispensary owners are feeling vindicated after collecting tens of thousands of signatures in favor of a repeal of the ban but with the vote the L.A. City Council also pressed state legislators for clarification about existing state laws that allow for the legal sale of marijuana for medical purposes in California even though pot remains illegal under federal statutes.
When will the legal status of L.A.’s pot shops be resolved? What is the best way to get medical relief for patients who might benefit from legal medicinal marijuana while keeping neighborhoods safe?
José Huizar, City Council Member representing the 14th District which includes the neighborhoods of Boyle Heights, Downtown, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Garvanza, Glassell Park, Hermon and Highland Park
Yamileth Bolanos, president and founder of the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance; patient operator for PureLife Alternative Wellness Center in Los Angeles