City To Begin Debating Pot Dispensaries Next Week

A City Council committee next week will begin the process of drafting a new law that aims to reign in the city's more than 800 medical-marijuana dispensaries.

KPCC's (89.3) Frank Stolze reports that an ordinance under consideration by the council's public safety committee would prohibit dispensaries from operating with 1,000 feet of other pot outlets, schools, churches, parks, libraries, hospitals, drug rehabilitation clinics and child-care providers.

Business would be limited to the hours between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. And sellers could only keep a maximum of five pounds on hand at a time. The sellers would have to adhere to a stricter definition of a "collective," meaning that members would have to provide proof of serious illness and have to authorize the provider to cultivate pot for them. City inspections would be mandatory.

The council is hustling (well, sort of) to deal with the mushrooming number of dispensaries in the city after a judge knocked down the city's temporary moratorium on such outlets last month.

Following the state's 1996 legalization of medical marijuana Los Angeles has become the pot dispensary capital of the nation. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and District Attorney Steve Cooley have vowed to crack down on such outlets, saying they don't adhere to the letter of state law and often run as quasi-legal drug-dealing operations.

At the same time President Obama has pulled back federal enforcement against the medical marijuana trade in states that have legalized pot for patients. And this week the American Medical Association changed its longtime stance against legitimate research into the possible medicinal uses of the drug.

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