L.A. City's Attempts To Regulate Pot Shops Drags On For Years As Residents Complain About Related Crime

Los Angeles is the pot-shop capital of the nation. At one point our dispensaries were said to outnumber Starbucks outlets here (a dubious claim but, still, you get the idea).

It has taken the Los Angeles City Council several years to get a law enacted that would regulate these businesses, even as some neighbors complained that local outlets were little more than illicit drug houses. In June, the city finally passed a law that would outlaw most of the shops.

Then, for the second time, the city's pot-shop law turned out to be a dud.

Just as its 2007, loophole-filled moratorium on new shops actually inspired a cavalcade of new stores (it was struck down by a judge, too), it's June ordinance inspired defiance among some shops and created a legal quagmire that had the City Attorney's office temporarily backing off enforcement of illicit cannabis storefronts.

And so it was back to the drawing board. The council last week decided to tweak its law so that it wouldn't outlaw all but 40 or so of the 545 pot shops in the city. The council wants more cannabis retailing for your convenience, with a goal of 180 that would be allowed to remain.

Not bad, considering that Arizona's new medical marijuana law would only allow 124 dispensaries across that entire state.

The council still needs to see final language and take one more vote. So, yeah, the city still doesn't have a proper dispensary ordinance after all these years.

And there are folks in certain neighborhoods (Eagle Rock, for example) who feel besieged by the shops. Others are concerned about a rash of robberies and even homicides that rocked dispensaries last summer.

Our commenter of the day, Robert, says he's tired of waiting:

Outrageous!!!! The time and money that has been spent trying to clean up their mess is now down the drain. Are they really this stupid? How many homicides were there this year alone from robberies of pot shops? Too many and these idiot city council members want to help the dopers. This is why we need to get rid of all of them come election in March. NO TO ANY INCUMBENTS.

Are you happy with the city's long-awaited response to medical marijuana businesses in L.A?

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