After perfunctory council speeches and passionate public comment, the council is meeting privately to discuss a measure that would shut down the city's pot dispensaries. The plan would allow patients and caregivers to grow it collectively. An alternative proposal would allow a certain number of dispensaries to remain open. To recap, California voters approved a ballot measure to allow the use of medical marijuana back in the 90s, but lawmakers never established an effective means of regulating sales, basically leaving it up to county and city governments. Some cities banned dispensaries altogether, while others looked the other way, often creating a marijuana free-for-all. That's what happened in L.A., which now has hundreds of dispensaries. The courts have only confused the issue - as have the feds, which continue to crack down on medical marijuana. From the LAT:
City officials contend that all of the city's hundreds of dispensaries are now illegal, thanks to a state appellate court decision earlier this month. The court upheld the city's original medical marijuana ordinance, which allowed dispensaries that registered with the city in 2007 after the council adopted a moratorium on new stores. The court ruling reinstated that ordinance in place of a temporary one. But the original law had a sunset clause and has expired. That means that "currently, there's really no ordinance," said Asha Greenberg, an assistant city attorney.
Polls show that people are overwhelmingly in support of legalizing medical marijuana. But the city's dispensary system is a total disaster. "L.A. has experimented with marijuana and it's failed miserably," said Councilman Mitch Englander.