The California Assembly Committee on Public Health is scheduled to consider a bill Tuesday that would impose Los Angeles-like limits on how close medical marijuana dispensaries can be from schools, churches, parks libraries and other dispensaries. Medical marijuana proponents are concerned that the law, if passed, would put a lot of the state's dispensaries out of business -- just as L.A.'s law promises to do in this city.
The bill (AB 2650) was introduced by Joan Buchanan, a Democrat from Alamo, Calif. It would impose the same kind of 1,000-foot barrier between dispensaries and "sensitive-use" sites that the Los Angeles City Council imposed earlier this year. In L.A.'s case, the law will essentially make most of the pot shops in the city illegal because they, in fact, are often within 1,000 feet of such places.
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The Weed Blog also argues that the language of the proposed law is vague. The proposed law states "no medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider, shall be located within a 1,000-foot radius of a school, public park, public library, religious institution ...." The blog is concerned by the word "establishment," saying that could be interpreted to mean a doctor's office or almost any business connected to medical marijuana.
"If law enforcement feels that your house, doctor's office, etc. is an 'establishment,' and is located within 1,000 feet of just about ANYTHING, they have legal backing to arrest and prosecute you," the blog states.
Americans For Safe Access, meanwhile, argues that the bill would make it more difficult for medical marijuana patients to find safe places to buy their weed.
"It is already hard enough to find a location for a legally organized and operated medical cannabis association," the organization states. "AB 2650 will make this task even more difficult - thus diminishing safe and legal access to medicine in communities statewide."