LA City Council Votes To Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The L.A. City Council voted Tuesday to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, but the council also directed the city attorney to work out the details of another ordinance, which would allow some of those dispensaries to keep its doors open under certain restrictions.

The council voted unanimously to pass the two motions after a two hour closed session.

The first, authored by Councilman Jose Huizar, is called a “gentle ban.” It would ban marijuana businesses in the city, except where a maximum of three or fewer patients or primary caregivers process or cultivate on site.

It also excludes hospices, licensed clinics, facilities, and home healthcare agencies where qualified patients receive medical care from a primary caregiver.

The other motion, by Councilman Paul Koretz, is called “limited immunity.” That would ban medical marijuana businesses, but would abstain from enforcement action against a limited number of dispensaries that do not violate a set of city council imposed restrictions.

Police Chief Charlie Beck is in support of the “gentle ban.”

“We have no issue with the medical use of marijuana as prescribed under state law,” he said. “What we do have issue with is large for-profit businesses that operate outside what we think is state law, and not only cause a nuisance to the community, but cause a public danger because of a very toxic mixture of high value narcotics and a lot of cash.”

People from both sides of the issue voiced their opinions during public comment at Tuesday’s meeting.

“This is messing up and destroying our neighborhoods,” said one woman.

“The patients are the ones who are going to lose,” said a male supporter.

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