Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith, who chairs the council's Public Safety Committee, has waived a public hearing for L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's draft ordinance on medical marijuana dispensary regulations. Smith hopes the matter will be heard before the full city council in early November, according to Smith's spokesman Matt Myerhoff.
"In Councilman Smith's estimation," Myerhoff writes in a prepared statement, "the ordinance could wipe out the 400
pot shops that opened during the moratorium, and could wipe out many of
the 176 other ones" that registered with the city before the August, 2007, medical marijuana dispensary moratorium.
Today, medical marijuana advocates are gathering at City Hall to protest Trutanich's and L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley's positions on existing medical marijuana dispensaries in L.A., which the prosecutors have deemed as "100 percent illegal."
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"Cooley and Trutanich are re-creating reefer madness and are out of step with the will of the people," writes Dege Coutee, a leading medical marijuana advocate, in a press release. "We want acceptable rules not raids. Los Angeles has created a dangerous situation and patients want to let our officials know that."
Trutanich is now working hard to generate community support for his draft ordinance. In a recent email to neighborhood activists, special assistant city attorney Jane Usher wrote that "marijuana advocates" who are only looking to make a buck from medical pot shops have turned out "in force" at city council hearings.
Usher writes that it's "critical that you and your neighbors be heard. The downside risk is too great that this city will continue to be the lawless Wild West for unregulated marijuana shops and their attendant crime and social ills."