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L.A. City Council Repeals Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban

Posted on  October 04, 2012 by  News Admin

 After a years-long demonstration of apparently bottomless ineptitude when it comes to effectively addressing safe access to medical marijuana for patients, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday repealed its own July dispensary ban with an 11 to 2 vote. The action once again leaves L.A. with no laws regulating the city's numerous dispensaries, but some council members were openly wishing for an expanded federal crackdown on the shops. Tuesday's vote followed years of attempts by the hapless council to regulate the medical marijuana dispensary scene in Los Angeles, with more than 400 dispensaries located in the L.A. metro area. The city claimed its own count revealed more than 1,000 such shops. Council members said it was time to go back to the drawing board, saying they'd ask state legislators to "clarify" state law on how cities can regulate dispensaries. "Facing the choice of letting you vote on overturning the ban or doing so itself following a referendum effort that turned in almost double the number of signatures needed to bring the issue to ballot, the body stuck its tail between its legs and said smoke 'em if you got 'em," reports the LA Weekly's Dennis Romero. "We're pleased that the city is not going to put us through months of arduous enforcement," said Kris Hermes of medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access."We welcome the opportunity to work with the city on sensible regulations that will work for patients and the communities." The vote is set to be finalized next...

Marijuana Dispensary Sues Los Angeles Police Department

Posted on  September 10, 2012 by  News Admin

 One medical marijuana patient collective in Los Angeles is taking a unique approach in its fight to defend itself from being forced to close. It is targeting the L.A. Police Department in a lawsuit. Other suits have been filed by other dispensaries and collectives following the city council's unanimous decision to ban the shops from operating, but this is the first lawsuit to directly take on the city's police department, reports the Cannabis Law Group. The case is Collins Collective v. City of Los Angeles, LAPD. Cannabis Law Group attorney Damian Nassiri is handling the case. According to the collective, the reason for the suit is that L.A. police officers, in violation of California law, threatened "severe repercussions" on August 13 if the collective continued in its efforts to establish a storefront dispensary. Cops said that if the collective opened, they would forcibly shut it down and arrest the members. The collective continued undeterred in its efforts, and members were then visited again by LAPD officers, who again threatened forcible closure and criminal prosecution. Bear in mind that Collins Collective, back in May, submitted its proposed articles of incorporation to the Secretary of State. The state legally recognized the collective on that same day as a medical marijuana, nonprofit, mutual benefit organization founded with the express purpose of growing cannabis and facilitating transactions for medically authorized members. The right of the collective to operate is just such a manner is spelled out in California's Health & Safety Code section 11362.775. Los...

One More Month: Los Angeles Pot Dispensary Ban Starts September 6

Posted on  August 07, 2012 by  News Admin

 Medical marijuana patients in Los Angeles only have one more month of safe access to cannabis before a hare-brained scheme to ban dispensaries in the sprawling city goes into effect on September 6. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the City Council's ban last Thursday, reports Dennis Romero of L.A. Weekly, and the ordinance was published on Monday, giving it 31 days -- until Thursday, September 6 -- to take effect, according to the City Clerk's office. While the hapless City Council has taken five years of wrangling with the issue since their 2007 moratorium -- giving a convincing portrayal of clueless incompetence -- it seems that now they're on the way to banning dispensaries, they've suddenly found a new sense of purpose. A second reading, or confirmatory vote, was unnecessary because, incredibly, the vote to ban pot shops was unanimous at 14-0, according to a spokesman for ban ordinance author Councilman Jose Huizar. But there still exists a competing proposal by Councilman Paul Koretz that would give a reprieve to 182 of the shops which existed before the 2007 moratorium. According to the L.A. Weekly, it appears there may not enough time for Koretz's competing (and more reasonable) proposal to be approved in time to stop the dispensary ban. The City Attorney's office is working on drafting the language of the Koretz proposal, according to his chief of staff Richard H. Llewellyn, Jr., with "no set timetable" for the office to complete its work. With the ban apparently headed for implementation, the patient advocacy group...