LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Medical marijuana advocates rallied in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday to sway city leaders from approving a proposed citywide ban on their medication.

KNX 1070’s Margret Carrero reports terminally ill patients and dispensary workers were among those who showed up on the steps of City Hall.

“I’m not gonna sit here and give you a list of the various things marijuana’s helped me to deal with, but I can tell you that I was on pharmaceuticals first, and I was not healing,” said advocate Chris Cooley, who is recovering from a spinal cord injury following a motorcycle accident in 2010.

The Public Safety Committee will consider on Friday a preliminary ordinance to either completely prohibit medicinal cannabis dispensaries or allow approximately 100 stores to continue operating.

Committee members last week approved both the ban and a counter-proposal that would have the city refrain from prosecuting a set of about 100 dispensaries that follow strict restrictions on where they could operate, the hours they could be open, and requirements for tight security.

There are approximately 100 licensed dispensaries still operating in the city that were permitted to open prior to the establishment of the Interim Control Ordinance in 2007, which established a moratorium on new dispensaries.

The rally was held as federal officials announced a countywide crackdown on marijuana dispensaries operating on a for-profit basis in violation of California law.

Authorities this week filed a pair of asset forfeiture lawsuits against two Santa Fe Springs properties that house three dispensaries, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Officials also sent out warning letters to property owners and operators of 34 other dispensaries doing business or recently closed in Santa Fe Springs, Whittier, South El Monte, La Mirada, Diamond Bar, Artesia, Paramount, South Gate, Commerce, Agoura Hills and Malibu, U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte said in a statement.

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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