Now that the L.A. City Council has decided that all medical marijuana dispensaries must shut down by Sept. 6, where will you get your medicine?
The slacker down the street? No, he was put out of business by the dispensaries. MacArthur Park? Cleaned up years ago. Tijuana? You want to end up in Mexican prison over some $20 bag of twigs?
We have the answers for you in this handy guide to the Top 5 Places Where You Can Still Get Your Weed:
5. Long Beach and other L.A. County environs. Long Beach's own ban on dispensaries was supposed to go into effect this week, but we have a feeling some brave storefronts will stay open. As the Long Beach Post puts it, you "would never have guessed from the looks of things that anything had changed."
4. Delivery. 30 minutes or less, homie. Since many delivery services aren't the kind of storefront operations expressly targeted by the City Council's ban (though they have been outlawed already), they'll continue bringing you your favorite toppings. In fact, Sam Sneed, director of the Weedit-it Collective, a delivery service, told us he'll keep on keepin' on. Right on?
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3. Inglewood. A beautiful city, the downtown of black L.A., and home to the Forum, which is being revitalized. And while the likes of Culver City, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills have shut out dispensaries, Inglewood beckons as a Westside haven where you can get your bud on with freeway-close convenience.
2. West Hollywood. We have a feeling that, because of WeHo's proximity to both the Westside and the entire L.A. basin, that it will be this city's dispensaries that will be making out like bandits when L.A.'s retailers close down.
Now, you could diss West Hollywood for its developer-loving-yet-tree-hugging ways, but if you ask us, it got dispensaries right, limiting them from the get-go instead of letting them get out of control only to have to shut them all down, L.A.-style. Something is better than nothing, right?
According to what WeHo officials told us recently, these are the four sanctioned dispensaries in town: The Farmacy, 8208 Santa Monica Blvd.; Alternative Health Care Advocates, 7213 Santa Monica Blvd., Zen Healing, 8464 Santa Monica Blvd.; and Alternative Herbal Health Services, 7828 Santa Monica Blvd.
1. The same places you always bought your weed. Sorry to break it to the politicians, but many dispensaries in L.A. plan on staying open despite the ban. Operators argue that court challenges, a voter referendum, and pre-2007 roots will protect them.
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Those things actually won't protect them, at least not at first, not legally, but the store owners do have a point: The city will have a hard time enforcing the ban, and its lawyers will be busy in court. Some dispensaries say they'll stick around until the cops come knocking.
And remember that when the city tried to enact a moratorium to put a cap on the more than 170 dispensaries that existed in 2007, the opposite happened. The scene ballooned. Subsequent efforts to limit shops, when the numbers were around 550, again backfired. Now the city says there could be 900 or so shops. So, to summarize, when the City Council moves to restrict pot shops, the opposite seems to happen. Just sayin'.