Author Dennis Romero

Unless you’re a legit home nurse or other “primary caregiver” bringing medicine home to your patient, pot delivery is illegal in the city of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force is hoping to change that.

The group, which represents marijuana industry interests in L.A., is challenging another advocacy organization, the United Cannabis Business Alliance, to expand on some of the proposals included in its initiative to allow the city’s legal dispensaries to be granted permits once statewide medical marijuana regulations — known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) — kick in in 2018.

In November California voters will have a chance to legalize recreational marijuana — and speculators are licking their lips at the prospect of a green rush in the Golden State. One analysis says California’s legal pot revenues could more than double — from $2.7 billion in 2015 to $6.6 billion in 2020 — if we fully legalize cannabis.

But in the biggest marijuana market in the United States (the city of Los Angeles has more dispensaries than the entire state of Colorado), the industry’s growth could lag, even if recreational weed is passed by voters.

An organization that represents the majority of legit (medical) marijuana shops in L.A. is pushing to cap the city’s number of dispensaries — medical or not — at 135. The organization, the United Cannabis Business Alliance (UCBA), has just filed its initiative language with the L.A. City Attorney’s Office …

The marijuana legalization initiative that will be on the November ballot in California is a disappointment to many in the cannabis decriminalization movement. California NORML, the granddaddy of political pot groups, has not fully endorsed it.

These critics say that Proposition 64, which will allow Californians 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, is about as conservative as it could be without defeating the very purpose of legalization, which is allowing folks to enjoy weed without fear of arrest.

Latinos have been depicted as having an intimate and historic relationship with marijuana. Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa and his men are said to have smoked pot and brought it with them when they crossed the border, helping to inspire American prohibition early last century. The 1978 film Up in Smoke featuring Cheech Marin made cannabis appear to be an everyday elixir for Mexican-Americans and hippies alike. But the truth about Latinos and weed is little more complex.

Older and immigrant Latinos tend to be more socially conservative, particularly when it comes to drug use. The Public Policy Institute of California said last year that a majority of Latinos are opposed to full legalization for pot.

That’s why those who are allied against the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or Proposition 63 (the recreational marijuana initiative slated for November’s ballot in California), are counting on Latino voters to help them defeat it.

California’s dominant political party is saying yes to drugs.

The California Democratic Party’s executive board met in Long Beach over the weekend. It voted to endorse a number of ballot measures, including the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which is headed for your vote in November.

The initiative would legalize holding up to an ounce of weed for those older than 21 — no doctor’s note necessary.

Chuck Coker / Flickr

It looks like Angelenos will get to vote on at least two initiatives that seek to regulate L.A.’s booming medical marijuana business.
The L.A. City Council today gave its initial approval to competing measures that aim to place some kind of rules around the pot shop industry. One of the two would eliminate most of the 1,000 or so dispensaries in town and allow fewer than 200 to survive.
The other is more laissez-faire: It would allow most shops to remain so long as they abide by basic rules such as hours of operation and background checks.
There’s also a third option:

ostrowitzs / Flickr

Despite growing evidence that marijuana is more than just a buzz-drug, a federal appeals court rejected an attempt to reclassify pot as a medically recognized substance.
The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today voted 2-1 to agree with lower courts that “adequate and well-controlled studies” do not exist to support the legitimacy of medical marijuana.
As it stands then, marijuana will remain a federal outlaw drug with no recognized uses — worse than cocaine in the federal government’s eyes.
The ruling won’t help those states like California that have legalized medical pot, as federal authorities can still cite its schedule I status and crackdown.