L.A. Marijuana Dispensaries Dodge The Bullet, Get Reprieve


The Republic

Marijuana advocates turned in signatures Thursday morning in Los Angeles to get the city’s medical marijuana dispensary ban on November’s ballot so the voters can have their say. The ban, scheduled to take effect Wednesday, has been halted immediately, according to the City Clerk’s office.

While the signatures have yet to be verified, reports Dennis Romero at LA Weekly, the dispensary ban will be on hold unless either the signatures or the associated paperwork turn out to be deficient. Organizers needed 27,425 signatures of registered Los Angeles voters to get the issue on the general election ballot.

If and when the signatures are verified — which could take a few days — the City Council will have up to 30 days to either overturn the dispensary ban or put the matter on the ballot. The latter course of action seems much more likely, since the council voted unanimously in favor of the banb.
City Councilman Jose Huizar — always an outspoken foe of the medical marijuana community — claimed Wednesday night that even without the ban, L.A. could still close shops, because, and this is a hoary old argument, they violate state law by turning a profit on marijuana sales.
But in the meantime, Huizar’s insanity notwithstanding, existing, licensed dispensaries are free to operate in Los Angeles.
The City Clerk’s office will count the signatures over the next 15 days, using statistical sampling to verify if enough valid ones are there.