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City Council-Backed Medical Marijuana Measure ‘D’ Passes

Update from City News Service:

The number of medical marijuana dispensaries will be limited in Los Angeles and the tax on the drug will be higher under a regulation measure approved by voters.

Faced with a trio of proposed marijuana-regulation proposals on Tuesday's ballot, voters approved Proposition D, a City Council-sponsored measure that restricts the number of dispensaries to the 135 that registered with the city before September 2007.

The measure also includes restrictions on the location and operation of the dispensaries, and increases the tax imposed on dispensary sales from $50 to $60 per $1,000. In 2012, the city collected $2.5 million through taxing the gross receipts of marijuana dispensaries.

Of the three measures, only two were actively backed by their respective campaigns. Ordinance E was abandoned by the group that collected petitions to get it on the ballot. They opted to throw their support behind Proposition D when the council voted to put it before voters.

Ordinance F, which did not include a cap on the number of dispensaries, was handily defeated.

Supporters of both D and F insisted their respective measures would allow marijuana dispensaries to open as long as they follow a set of criteria and regulations, including submitting to background checks and setting up shop a safe distance from places frequented by children.

Proposition D proponents said the measure's regulations adhere closer to existing state and federal requirements and had a better chance of being enforced. Ordinance F would have set a 500-foot distance between shops and parks, child care facilities and other similarly "sensitive'' sites, while Proposition D ups that distance to 600 feet. Both measures required a 1,000-foot buffer between medical marijuana businesses and schools as well as places of worship.

Under Proposition D, the businesses will be allowed to operate between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Ordinance F would have allowed the stores to stay open until 10 p.m.

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Previously: Tight regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles won early support in election results Tuesday, with a majority of voters so far backing Measure D, the ballot initiative proposed last year by the Los Angeles City Council after medical marijuana activists gained enough signatures to defeat an outright ban on pot clinics.

With counting still underway, 119,434 voters (63.47 percent) said Yes to Measure D, while 68,717 (36.52 percent) said No, according to election results posted online by the office of the City Clerk.

The ballot measure with the greatest number of votes (as opposed to percentage of votes) will pass.  

In comparison to the six-figure votes favoring the City Council’s proposition, Measure F, one of the two ballot measures proposed by medical marijuana activists, won 72,703 votes (42.65 percent). The number of voters who so far oppose Measure F, which seeks to allow an unlimited number of medical marijuana clinics to operate in L.A., stands at 97,726 (57.34 percent).

A third ballot initiative that would also allow an unlimited number of clinics—Measure E—gained 61,800 votes (37.06 percent), while 104,956 votes (62.93 percent) were against it.

Of the three ballot measures, Measure D is the most restrictive, seeking to limit the number of medical marijuana clinics in Los Angeles to about 135. That’s the number of clinics that existed prior to September 2007, when the City Council imposed the first of several interim ordinances aimed at strictly regulating the medical marijuana industry.

Both Measure D and Measure F have a provision for a tax increase on medical marijuana clinics—from $50 to $60 per $1,000 or gross receipts. The big difference between Measure F and Measure E is that the latter has no provision for taxation.

Measure F also favors some regulation of clinics, including testing for toxins caused by molds, annual audits to be submitted to the City Controller, onsite parking and a provision whereby dispensaries must be at least 500 feet from each other.

Anonymous Nimby Crank May 28, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Kelly "This guy that looks like Meatloaf" That's amazing!!!!!
kelly thompson May 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM
tee hee.
eaglerocker May 29, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Actually, the older white men against bike lanes (Tim Ryder and Tom Topping) are FOR marijuana dispensaries. That's a weird combo. As for Meatloaf, I'm guessing that's Hart Fisher. (But he's a younger, "Bat Out of Hell"-era Meatloaf, gotta give him that.)
John May 30, 2013 at 04:31 PM
This measure is a compromise, not only between pro and anti-dispensary forces, but between logic and politics. Like every other marijuana law, this is arbitrary and panders to the opposition by imposing un-needed restrictions on location, hours of operation, and number of facilities. The voters passed it as the only option, but 42% of the voters wanted no restriction on hours or limits on number. The people who voted against the measures probably don't patronize the dispensaries, so they can impose their view of what activities others may engage in. That is un-American. Unlike alcohol, you cannot overdose and die from smoking marijuana. Unlike tobacco, there is absolutely no conclusive evidence that marijuana causes cancer - and there are no deaths attributed to marijuana related cancers in the CDC mortality report. The CDC does report that 38,000 people die from alcohol poisonings each year; 400,000 die from tobacco related illnesses; 21,000 overdose on prescription medications, especially opiates. Hundreds of people overdose on over the counter meds like aspirin and Tylenol. Zero from marijuana. Besides helping the terminally ill, marijuana relieves pain, depression, and neurological disorders. It makes a lot of people just feel better. Some people just like to smoke it and listen to music, watch TV, and relax. Anyone who gets benefit from marijuana for anything is allowed to be recommended medical marijuana by a physician under California law. You don't see doctors recommending tobacco or alcohol. Locally in Los Angeles you can buy alcohol until 2am at over 7,500 locations and tobacco can be purchased 24 hours a day at thousands more retailers. So patients and enthusiasts of marijuana are settling for ludicrous restrictions that deny them fair and equal treatment under the law. Democracy is not majority rule; it truly is our national motto, "E Pluribus Unum," or "From the Many, One." There should be one set of rules for everyone; not legislated monopolies; not restrictions on personal liberties; not special treatment for churches whose beliefs conflict with common secular laws. Anyway, we should be thankful the voters will now allow us to wait in line, search for parking, and shop early in order to obtain herbs legally. Now impose the same restrictions on alcohol and tobacco, or set marijuana users free of any more restrictive laws than those of more toxic substances.
Mike E. June 06, 2013 at 09:21 PM
If this plan worked, it would be a windfall for nearby cities to step in and take over LA's highly taxed medical cannabis market. Delivery services don't charge tax and stay below the radar so they would continue and most likely expand. Small time entrepreneurs will reestablish illegal drive up street markets which are convenient for purchasers but a major nuisance for nearby residents. Law enforcement and the courts will bear the costs not only of tracking down and closing a thousand or so dispensaries, but also of KEEPING them closed, plus dealing with an upsurge of a large black market that sells where they want and when they want. LA couldn't close them down before legalization and there's no reason to expect they'll do any better this time. And if they were able to find and shut down the unsanctioned dispensaries, how many jobs will be destroyed? If there were a thousand dispensaries shut down and each one employed 6 persons, that's 6000 jobs down the drain, and primarily dispensary workers are young people struggling in a lousy economy. How does that make for a better city? Back in the 60's, you could do a lengthy prison stretch for a single joint, but even that didn't stop the explosive growth of cannabis use, so who thinks LA's clumsy attempts to drive up the price of pot in LA is going to do anything more than return the marketing of marijuana to a criminal underground. Pot is here to stay and Americans overwhelmingly support legalization. Grow up LA!

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