Proposition D's huge win on Tuesday was a clear message from liberal Los Angeles that it does not want more than 1,000 weed shops in virtually every business district of the sprawling city, as things stand today.
The new law becomes the first tricky and controversial test for Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, a man with a great distaste for controversy. It shutters all dispensaries that opened in defiance of the L.A. City Council's 2007 moratorium banning new pot shops.
Prop. D won with a huge 193,969 yes votes, or 62 percent — considered a landslide in the election business. It received 116,024 no votes, or 37.4 percent.
Voters trounced Ordinance F, the rival measure placed on the ballot by the rogue dispensaries, many of whose owners have become extremely wealthy selling to the demands of huge Los Angeles.
Measure F went down in flames, losing 59 percent to 41 percent.
The law means that only the roughly 125 to 135 original dispensaries that opened before the city moratorium — and that have continued to operate — will stay in business.
Now, the question is, how will Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department and Garcetti go about closing down the post-moratorium shops?
These shops won't go easily, with millions of dollars to lose and the top lawyers representing them.
Expect one of two outcomes:
Los Angeles leaders will try to invent a unique approach to closing the shops — some scheme that no other city has bothered with — creating turmoil and uncertainty. That's the pattern of city leaders on major issues of the day.
Or, City Hall will decide to follow the lead of cities that have already dramatically and successfully trimmed back their weed dispensaries.