Even though the state of California is ignoring federal law with its medical marijuana laws, the city of LA has had enough. In a unanimous vote, the LA City Council approved the closure of every single one of the 762 registered dispensaries in Los Angeles.
Spokeswoman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Vicki Curry, told The Huffington Post that the mayor supports the ban and will sign it into law sometime next week. It goes into effect 30 days from when it is signed, which means by September, according to the city attorney’s figures, 762 registered dispensaries and a couple hundred more unregistered facilities will be forced to close.
Councilman Jose Huizar, who introduced the measure, told HuffPost that the ban was necessary because of a proliferation of dispensaries that are not in violation of the city’s 2010 dispensary ordinance, including not being too close to each other, schools or libraries.
During the debate that preceded the vote, he said that because regulation hasn’t worked, the city should ban all dispensaries until the state Supreme Court clarifies the legality of the shops. “We failed to [regulate] for the past five years. No matter what we try to do … to regulate it going forward… we will fail again,” Huizar said. “The best course of action is … allowing three people or less to collectively cultivate marijuana — that’s what’s allowed under state law.”
Proponents of Huizar’s ban spoke publicly before the vote, saying that the dispensaries are nuisances that attract crime and drive away business. They also expressed concern about the concentration of dispensaries in certain neighborhoods. One man said there are 15 dispensaries within a 1.2-mile radius in Eagle Rock; one woman said there are three dispensaries in two blocks in her neighborhood, including one next to a preschool and a church.
While several other medical marijuana states haven’t had problems, California’s gone crazy with it, and in LA in particular, it’s pretty fucking tacky, which is saying a lot in a city as tacky and gaudy as LA.
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