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L.A. Council Considering Banning New Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


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Anyone wanting to open a new medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles over the next year might see their plans go up in smoke, if a plan being considered by a City Council committee comes to fruition.

The council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee is considering whether to approve a proposed ordinance calling for a one-year ban on building new medical marijuana dispensaries as part of an effort to weed out illegal dealers from legitimate dispensaries.

The temporary ban would also allow time for city officials to develop regulations and guidelines for medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Los Angeles, according to Phyllis Parker of the city's Planning Department.

If approved by the full City Council, the ordinance would allow for up to two six-month extensions on the year-long ban.

The council committee will likely approve the proposal next Tuesday, after the City Clerk's Office submits a report on how to implement the ban.

Councilman Dennis Zine proposed the moratorium last September, saying that too many of the dispensaries were operating in the city, oftentimes illegally selling pot to those without prescriptions.

About 80 medical marijuana dispensaries operate in Los Angeles.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are defined as "facilities that provide marijuana for medical purposed to patients or primary caregivers who have a related recommendation from a physician."

In 1996, 56 percent of California's voters approved Proposition 215, which says marijuana should be made available to people with medical problems, including nausea from cancer and AIDS treatments. The state law does not state how dispensaries should be regulated.

Federal law still bans marijuana use in all cases.

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: North County Times
Author: North County Times Wire Services
Contact: letters@nctimes.com
Copyright: 2007 North County Times
Website: L.A. council considering ordinance banning new medical marijuana dispensaries
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