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Huizar Calls for Enforcement of Ban on Medical Marijuana Storefronts

The city’s marijuana ordinance, signed by the mayor Wednesday, ought to help Angelenos "reclaim their neighborhoods," the councilmember says.

A day after Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed an ordinance banning medical marijuana storefronts, Los Angeles City said Thursday that he looks forward to enforcing the law and restoring civic calm to neighborhoods overwhelmed by a high concentration of pot clinics.

“With the mayor’s signature, it is my hope that communities throughout the City of Los Angeles can now begin to reclaim their neighborhoods from the over-proliferation of illegal marijuana storefront dispensaries,” said Huizar, who helped draft the ordinance.  

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on July 25 to ban pot storefronts but allow individual patients and groups of three patients or less to grow their own pot for medical use. Hospices and licensed clinics would be exempted from the ban, as would facilities and home health agencies where patients get medical care or supportive services.

The immediate need, added Huizar, is for city authorities to focus on enforcing the so-called “gentle ban,” which is scheduled to be enforced within 30 days of the mayor’s signature.

The ban, which was championed by Councilmembers Mitchell Englander, Bernard Parks and Jan Perry, has the support of Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, the City Attorney's Office and District Attorney Steve Cooley. The ordinance would prevail until the California Supreme Court rules on the issue of medical marijuana and its distribution, Huizar said.

“In the interim, we would encourage legitimate medical marijuana patients to advocate their state legislature to fix the flawed state law so that only seriously ill patients with documented medical history have access to medical marijuana,” Huizar told Eagle Rock Patch.

That scenario, he added, “is what we all thought we were voting for when we supported the Compassionate Use Act” stemming from Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot measure regarding the medical use of marijuana.

The ordinance is LA’s "best option to preserve access to medical marijuana for patients while protecting public safety and quality of life for all Angelenos," Villaraigosa said Wednesday evening, shortly after signing the ban. "We look forward to a clarification from the state Supreme Court on this vague and ambiguous [state] law so the city can effectively plan for the future."

LA's marijuana ordinance is highly unlikely to go unchallenged by pot clinics, many of which are already in the midst of lawsuits agaisnt the city over its efforts to regulate the distribution of marijuana. Moments before the City Council voted for the ban last week, Special Assistant City Attorney Jane Usher told the Council that she expects further lawsuits from dispensaries.

The mayor’s signature on the ban was welcomed by President Michael Larsen, who had campaigned against medical marijuana storefronts, arguing that the presence of as many as 15 of them in the Eagle Rock area are disruptive to community life.

"It's been a long road for the ERNC, which has been fighting for reasonable regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries for more than four years now," Larsen said. "We are pleased that the ordinance will control an out-of-control situation, and we look forward to a time when legitimate patients can access medical-grade marijuana products in a way consistent with established medical standards as well as standards consistent with California law and local communities."

Larsen praised Huizar's "exhaustive efforts as well as his exemplary leadership" in crafting the ordinance. "Credit and thanks go to him and his staff for their hard work on behalf of the community of Eagle Rock," Larsen said.

EagleRockMom August 10, 2012 at 02:50 AM
@John I watched the KCET story and I didn't find it bothersome. In fact, I was astonished by what I saw. When I viewed the footage of the AEC parking lot, I realized just how bad it was. That lot was buck wild! It looked crazier than Toys R Us at Christmas. I was also alarmed by the Kush footage. Those store employees were acting like bouncers at a night club. And when I considered that all of this had been going on walking distance from my house, it all made sense. The uptick in loitering and public partying I noticed has coincided with the proliferation of MMDs. While it is true that I don't want MMDs in my neighborhood, I don't want people smoking their 'medicine' in front of my house, and I don't like the smell of pot smoke, I do want legitimate patients to have access to medical marijuana. If Eagle Rock had one or two dispenseries sans garish signage, I could live with that.
Kevin_Hunt August 10, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Quoting eaglerockmom: "I have simply noticed that several pro-marijuana folks continually tout that users "never" commit crimes while under the influence" OK, that statement by these "pro-marijuana folks" is not true. Where did you see this statement and what group of folks specifically are you referring to ? What are we are debating here if you are not claiming that the effects of marijuana use causes people to commit crimes? People commit crimes while sober, too. "and that it is a safe drug in comparison to other substances." FDA approved drugs kill 20,000 Americans per year from overdose and adverse drug reaction. Alcohol kills 300 Americans per year from overdose. There is not one single well documented case of a death from marijuana overdose or adverse drug reaction in 5,000 years of use. What more proof do you need?
EagleRockMom August 10, 2012 at 03:07 PM
@Kevin I am referring to responses from posters for previous MMD articles on the ER Patch. The claims have been incredible.
Kevin_Hunt August 10, 2012 at 03:15 PM
@EagleRockMom: Please point me to said posters and I will straighten them out for you. Marijuana does not "prevent" people from doing crimes. I have not seen evidence that it "causes" people to do crimes, either.
Nelson R Grande II August 10, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I'll just leave this here... Scientific Review: “There Is Now Clear Evidence That Cannabinoids Are Useful For The Treatment Of Various Medical Conditions” http://blog.norml.org/2012/08/09/scientific-review-there-is-now-clear-evidence-that-cannabinoids-are-useful-for-the-treatment-of-various-medical-conditions/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NORMLBlog+%28NORML+Blog%29 It's high time everyone sees the writing on the wall. For those concerned over the drivers, here's a quote from the Peer-Reviewed Scientific Study: “Patients who take cannabinoids at a constant dosage over an extensive period of time often develop tolerance to the impairment of psychomotor performance, so that they can drive vehicles safely.”

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