Council repeals earlier ban on pot dispensaries

medicalpot.jpgThe 11-2 vote, which is preliminary, means that city officials are back to square one in the hopelessly entangled question of whether to allow medical marijuana shops - and where to have them and how many to permit. Today's debate included comments by Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who has been taking marijuana to relieve the pain from cancer treatments. "If I can't get medical marijuana ... what do I do?" he said during the session, his voice low and raspy. Should this tentative vote be affirmed, the next step is likely to be a city ballot measure next March. Meantime, dispensaries would stay open. But it gets complicated because the feds have been shutting down selected dispensaries in the city, citing federal drug laws. U.S. Attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek told the Daily Journal (via The Weekly) that "our stated goal has been to have all illegal marijuana stores closed, and we have been working toward that goal across our district." But what about Proposition 215, which California voters passed in 1996 and allowed patients with a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana for medical purposes? Well, it means that the measure is in shambles. You can still obtain medical pot in some cities around the state, but local officials and dispensary operators are sure to be under the gun.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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