Like Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin, the L.A. City Council and local marijuana dispensaries have spent many years grappling with each other and, like that famous rivalry, it might all come to an end this month as our leaders vote on a watertight pot-shop ban.
But don't count on dispensaries just packing up and retiring just yet. Besides several court challenges that could call such a ban into question, pot shop operators are also going to put everything they have into trying to convince the council to let them be:
A "Save Our Dispensaries" rally is scheduled for July 20 at 10 a.m. in front of L.A. City Hall.
At issue is a lock-out for the 500 or so pot stores that now call L.A. home. The ban is being proposed by Councilman Jose Huizar, who has said that only nonprofit, non-storefront growing collectives would be allowed under the new rules.
Dispensaries are up in arms, citing a recent court ruling that favors them as well as the language of the law, which might or might not support their cause.
SB 420, which gave birth to California's dispensaries, allows a for-profit environment, its author, John Vasconcellos, previously told the Weekly.
However, L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich says the law was never meant to foster the kind of retail scene we see with local pot shops; it simply legalized the nonprofit sharing of weed for the seriously ill.
Those issues are still being worked out in court.
In the meantime, organizers expect a big turnout for the July 20 rally, which precedes a scheduled, July 24 vote on the ban proposal.
An organizer told the Weekly:
We'll be flyering most of LA's dispensaries so we expect a big crowd.