Ballot initiative looks to save Los Angeles pot shops

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:57 EDT
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Ads for a medical marijuana shop in Venice Beach, California. Photo: Flickr user Phillip Cowell, creative commons licensed.
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Drug reform activists in Los Angeles said they will file more than 50,000 petition signatures on Wednesday supporting a ballot initiative that would halt City Hall’s plan to shut down nearly all the medical marijuana dispensaries.

The city requires just 27,400 signatures to leverage an initiative onto the ballot. If activists are successful, the city’s ban on storefront marijuana sales would be put on hold immediately. That would come at just the right time for activists too, as the city’s ban is due to take effect on Sept. 6.

The city council’s ban on dispensaries allows groups of three or fewer people to instead grow their own marijuana to share with properly licensed patients, but medical marijuana advocates say that violates patients’ right to safe and regular access to the drug.

If it is placed on the ballot, the medical marijuana referendum would share space with the Los Angeles mayoral primary election. Current LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsed the ban.

Photo: Flickr user Phillip Cowell, creative commons licensed.

(H/T: The Los Angeles Times)

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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