The Madeleine Brand Show for July 25, 2012

LA City Council votes to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries

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David McNew/Getty Images

A man enters Private Organic Therapy (P.O.T.), a non-profit co-operative medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, Calif.

The City Council voted unanimously yesterday to shut down all of L.A.'s 762 marijuana dispensaries. Opponents of the ban have vowed to fight against the ban, either by lawsuit or ballot initiative.

The L.A. City Council could allow immunity to stores that opened before a 2007 moratorium on opening facilities. There seems to be some confusion over how these original shops will be handled as all this gets sorted out. Councilman Dennis Zine seemed to indicate that police will be lax with older stores, and will focus on the newer shops instead. Councilman Paul Koretz seemed to say a ban is a ban is a ban.

The ban on dispensaries is for the city of LA, but there are pot shops in regions that aren't technically part of LA, like West Hollywood and Santa Monica. Dispensaries could move to these areas instead.

Supporters of the medical marijuana facilities argue that if dispensaries are shut down, people are still going to buy marijuana somewhere and this is just going to drive the business underground and toward criminal organizations.

Guest:

Frank Stoltze, KPCC reporter


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