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Review Of Medical Marijuana Continues

Fri, 12/11/2009 - 6:06am

The Los Angeles City Council has delayed a vote on its medical marijuana ordinance until most likely into next year, worried that the draft proposal could eliminate most dispensaries and lead to just a few “big-box” pot stores in isolated industrial areas. The council has been on fast-forward since October, when a judge ruled that the city's moratorium on dispensaries was invalid, leaving Los Angeles with almost no power to shut down hundreds that have opened without permission in the last two years.

But key council members had second thoughts about the council's decision to require dispensaries to be at least 1,000 feet from any residences. The council, at the end of a marathon session, voted for the amendment even though city planners warned that it might eliminate most locations.

Council President Eric Garcetti is cynical of the council's decision to cap the number of dispensaries at 70. He feels that will leave only about five or 10 mega-dispensaries in industrial parks.

Over the objections of several members, the council decided to wait until the Planning Department can finish maps that show how many sites are available 500’ and 1,000’ from so-called sensitive areas, such as schools, parks, churches and residences.

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