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LA County supervisors extend marijuana cultivation ban to June

A marijuana bud displayed in Denver. Don't legalize pot, the pediatricians say, but don't lock teenagers up for using it, either.
A marijuana bud displayed in Denver. Don't legalize pot, the pediatricians say, but don't lock teenagers up for using it, either.
Seth McConnell/The Denver Post/Getty Images

A ban on the cultivation of medical marijuana in Los Angeles County has been extended for another month.

The temporary ordinance from the Board of Supervisors originally went into effect on April 12, putting a halt to cultivation, manufacturing, laboratory testing and distribution of medical marijuana in the unincorporated areas of L.A. County.

The board was considering extending the ordinance for 10 months but on Tuesday voted to extend it for one month instead, tabling further discussion until the end of June.

The extension is meant to give the county time to conduct a comprehensive zoning study that analyzes the impacts of growing operations in the unincorporated areas of L.A. County.

Had the supervisors not approved any sort of extension on the ban, it would have expired. 

"It makes more sense to continue the ban for a month than to have no regulation at all," Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said at the meeting. 

Kuehl said that the ban was important to help ensure environmental considerations are taken into account.

Opponents of the ban expressed their concerns during the public comment period, explaining how it would impact access to the drug that many use to assist with ailments. 

“The only thing that this ban has gone ahead and done is reignited the black market,” said Lake Los Angeles resident Greg Hernandez.

Others testified about how medical marijuana has assisted them with things like anxiety, seizures and cancer treatment.

But Kuehl said that rather than taking up the issue now, supervisors should wait until November, when voters will consider a ballot measures that would legalize marijuana in California.

"If they do pass, we must regulate and not ban, and I would hope that our departments are at least thinking — and I’m assured that some of them are — about how we would approach regulation," Keuhl said.

You can read the ordinance here:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2841913-LA-County-Marijuana-Ordinance.html