L.A. City Council In Possible Clash With City Attorney Over Pot Shops

In the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of L.A.'s attempt to regulate medical marijuana, the office of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, via the City Clerk's office, found that just 41 pot shops -- out of the more than 500 that existed when the ordinance took effect in June -- met the qualifications for reaching final city approval. Meanwhile, the City Attorney seems to have eased up on enforcing the ordinance -- thus allowing shops to continue to operate, or in the case of KFC, to re-open -- until a judge makes clear the ordinance and its enforcement are legal and 30 lawsuits are adjudicated next week.

In the meantime, many of the pot shops left out of the loop who believed they'd be given the final seal of approval, are up in arms, at least in part because the City Clerk didn't make clear why they were denied. And the pot shops have allies on the City Council.

City Council members Paul Koretz and Bill Rosendahl have offered motion that would force the City Attorney to report to the council in a closed session on the "justification and status of the closure requests."

Rosendahl said in an interview in his office Monday that given the current state of affairs, there would be almost no dispensaries in his Westside district, despite what he described as many legitimate shops that deserve to stay open. He specifically cited a dispensary on the tony, Venice Beach shopping avenue Abbot Kinney, closed because of a technicality.

Rosendahl said his first partner, while dying of AIDS, was given significant relief from medical marijuana, and that access to this medicine should not be unnecessarily withheld.


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