Marijuana referendum qualifies for city ballot

city-hall-over-bldgs.jpgCity Clerk June Lagmay just announced that the proponents of a referendum to undo the Los Angeles City Council ban on medical marijuana outlets submitted enough signatures to force the issue. Or, as Lagmay's office puts it, "has achieved sufficiency."

The petition contained 49,021 pre-verified signatures. In order for the petition to be deemed sufficient, 27,425* valid signatures were required. As provided by the City's Election Code, the City Clerk utilized a random sampling procedure which included the examination of at least five percent of the signatures. The statistical sampling showed that the number of valid signatures was 110% or more of the number needed to declare the petition sufficient, which satisfied the minimum threshold. The City Clerk today has presented a Certification of Sufficiency to the City Council.

Bottom line: one of three things now has to happen under the City Charter. The City Council can mumble "never mind" and repeal the ordinance, and try another tack. The council can call and pay for an expensive special election where the voters will decide on the future of medical marijuana in the city. Or the council can let the referendum go to voters at the March 5 primary next year, when the citywide offices (mayor, controller, city attorney) and some City Council incumbents will be on the ballot.

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