Marijuana Dispensary Referendum Lacks Signatures

Medical-marijuana advocates hoping to kill a city of Los Angeles law that would shut down most of the pot shops in town stated they likely didn't have enough signatures for Monday's deadline to put the issue before city voters.

The effort was being organized by Dan Halbert of the Rainforest Collective dispensary on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista. He told the Los Angeles Times that although organizers had collected 30,000 signatures, only 15,000 appeared to be valid. The effort would need 27,425 to let voters decide if the City Council's limitations on pot shops should be struck down.

The shop's answering machine states that "we are asking all registered voters to stop in" Monday and sign the petition. Organizers stated they would ask for an extension of the signature-gathering deadline.

A popular swell of anti-pot-shop-ordinance votes by L.A.'s electorate could prompt the City Council to back off its restrictions, like it did following a backlash to its 2007 "living wage" law.

The city's dispensary regulation, which would require pot shops to maintain a 1,000-foot distance from schools, churches and other "sensitive use" addresses, would essentially close down most of L.A.'s pot shops. However, the ordinance has not taken effect, and another council vote is needed in order to start the clock on its start date.


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