Marijuana advocates decry Los Angeles City Council’s vote to ban marijuana dispensaries

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 20:32 EDT
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A man smokes marijuana in a water pipe. Photo: Sergei Bachlakov / Shutterstock.com.
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Medical marijuana advocates on Tuesday vowed to overturn Los Angeles City Council’s decision to close down all of the city’s more than 850 medical marijuana dispensaries.

“This is an outrage that the city council would think a reasonable solution to the distribution of medical marijuana would be to simply outlaw it altogether,” said Don Duncan, California Director with Americans for Safe Access (ASA). “The tens of thousands of patients harmed by this vote will not take it sitting down. We will campaign forcefully to overturn this poor decision by the council.”

The council on Tuesday voted 13-1 to ban the sale of medical marijuana in the city, but patients and caregivers will still be allowed to grow limited amounts of the drug. A spokesperson told the Huffington Post that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa planned to sign the ban into law next week.

Proponents of the ban said that it was necessary because the city had failed to regulate the dispensaries. The city had required dispensaries to be at least 1000 feet away from schools and parks, but many pot shops flaunted those regulations.

“We need to start with a clean slate,” Councilman Mitchell Englander said. “Los Angeles has experimented with marijuana and has failed.”

The council also voted 9-5 to draft a new ordinance that would allow about 180 marijuana dispensaries to continue operating under new regulations.

[Smoking marijuana via Sergei Bachlakov / Shutterstock]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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