|This numbskull, Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, wants to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the nation’s second-largest city|
Some members of the Los Angeles City Council want to ban medical marijuana patients’ cooperatives and collectives outright.
Patients and other community members have been working with the council to promote, develop, and implement sensible regulations for the city since 2005, according to Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Banning patients’ associations now — as suggested by Councilman Jose Huizar — means the City Council would turn its back on the large majority of local patients who rely on cooperatives and collectives for safe access to medicine.
“If they do a complete ban, where are the patients going to get their medicine?” said Yamileth Bolanos, president of the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance, reports John Hoeffel at the Los Angeles Times. “Medical marijuana is going to stay in the city no matter what. [Huizar is] choosing to have the gangs and cartels running it rather than having the very best operators that they can.”
“It will mean shutting down over 300 dispensaries but I don’t see we have any other choice,” Huizar said in a telephone interview after the City Council hearing, reports AIDSOVERSIXTY. “If we do nothing, we will see dispensaries pop up all over the city.”
|Don Duncan, ASA: “Sensible regulations reduce crime and reduce complaints”|
”What we’re doing is putting a multimillion-dollar industry out of business in the city of L.A.,” Huizar said.
His motion was sent to two committees and could reach the full City Council in a month or two, according to Huizar.
Although notoriously anti-pot L.A. City Attorney Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich would not discuss what advice he has given the City Council, he and his top aides have left no doubt where they stand. “I think it gives us the authority to prohibit but not to authorize,” Trutanich said.
Don Duncan, California director for ASA, disagreed that a recent Long Beach ruling kills efforts by California cities to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. That ruling, even if upheld, “in no way” forbids such regulations, he told the City Council.
“Sensible regulations reduce crime and reduce complaints,” Duncan said, adding that approving a ban would mean “you’re choosing to turn your back on legal patients.”
Nobody knows if Councilman Huizar will be able to win enough votes on the council to pass a ban. Since the council began debating the issue 6 1/2 years ago, the panel has always sought to find a legal way to allow medical marijuana dispensaries.
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