July 26, 2012- The Los Angeles City Council has been unable to rein in the medical pot shops that have sprouted throughout the second largest metropolis in the nation. Therefore, the Council voted to ban them this week until the highest court in the state weighs in on the issue.
The Council’s unanimous vote of 14-0 drew profanity-laced, angry responses from the advocates of medical marijuana who were in attendance. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he was prepared to sign the new ordinance. The ban of the pot shops would then take effect 30 days later. During that 30-day period, over 900 dispensaries of the drug would be advised through official letters when the ban would start.
Los Angeles has not done well handling the medical marijuana law for years. It has tried to provide affordable and safe access to it for all the legitimate patients, while addressing the many worries that neighborhood groups have that pot users and dispensaries are overrunning the city streets.
A number of the nation’s cities have struggled with the issue of medical marijuana, but Los Angeles has had the biggest problem. Pot shops in the city have proliferated. At one point, all the shops were ordered closed by the city, but lawsuits stopped that along with conflicting rulings in lower courts.
This time the City Council says it has a much stronger case if pot shop owners sue. An appellate court’s recent ruling seems to back up what the City Council says.