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City Council Repeals Ban On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to repeal the ban on storefront medical marijuana dispensaries.

KNX 1070′s Claudia Peschiutta reports marijuana advocates are rejoicing after the City Council in July approved an ordinance that banned all storefront medical marijuana dispensaries, but allowed patients and licensed caregivers to grow their own.

The Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods – a coalition of medical marijuana advocates including Americans for Safe Access, the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 – had gathered the necessary 27,425 signatures needed to put a referendum of the law on a city election ballot.

The council on Tuesday voted 11-2 in favor of repealing the law instead of putting it to voters, but because the vote was not unanimous, the repeal measure must come back for a simple majority vote of the 15-member body next week.

State lawmakers are expected to clarify the law on how cities can regulate the dispensaries – of which there are an estimated 1,000 still in operation – in coming weeks.

KNX 1070′s Margaret Carrero reports City Councilman and chair of the Public Safety Committee Mitch Englander immediately put forth a motion of enforcement that would ask lawmakers to address the widespread confusion over the myriad of ordinances regulating dispensaries.

“The motion asks LAPD and [the Department of] Building Safety to immediately report back to the Public Safety Committee on what types of enforcement actions they’re going to take, particularly in light of what the DEA and the federal government has done, which is a crackdown,” said Englander.

The Council is expected to revisit the issue sometime in November.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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