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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.

Marcus August 08, 2012 at 01:09 AM
@John: You are right to say patients should have a right to privacy, but I'm afraid the entrance is on the street and in full public view. Anyone has a right to film in public without a release form, and certainly if it is for non-commercial gain. (ie news/documentary-not promoting a product) Where is the video that shows patients entering the MMD? Do you think the video harassed these people as they entered the MMD? I'd like to see this. Good ideas about litter, kids etc. Maybe kids could be encouraged to make money by collecting this stuff, including abandoned shopping carts.
EagleRockMom August 08, 2012 at 05:20 AM
@Chip The reason why I mentioned that marijuana smoke contained carcinogens is because it is the truth and no one from the pro-pot camp wants to cop to that. While marijuana clearly has positive application in managing a myriad of health issues and can be used in alternative ways other than smoking it, it is not as safe as some would lead others to believe.
EagleRockMom August 08, 2012 at 05:41 AM
@Chip How can I "attack" the merits of your arguments when you haven't presented any that are worthwhile to address? All you've done is attempt to discredit posts by myself and other penname users while you yourself also use an alias. What more is there to say?
EagleRockMom August 08, 2012 at 05:58 AM
@Nelson Grande Does this mean you consider the Kush fellas to be held to an alternative standard in regards to their conduct?
Nelson R Grande II August 08, 2012 at 06:06 AM
An alternative standard to the President of the ERNC? Yes.
EagleRockMom August 08, 2012 at 06:08 AM
@JPEG and Chip Any photographic evidence is forwarded to the Northeast Division of the Los Angeles Police Department and not to some blog.
EagleRockMom August 08, 2012 at 06:13 AM
@JPEG Thank you for offering to help make things better. That is very cool of you.
EagleRockMom August 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM
@John You bring up an interesting point. In an earlier post you state that marijuana use is essentially safe and that no disease or crime has been directly tied to its consumption. You also state directly above that law enforcement typically is unable to verify intoxication involving marijuana. Essentially, the rosy picture you paint of marijuana use is false. Users are impaired when under the influence and likely commit a multitude of crimes, such as DUI. The reason it doesn't get reported is simple: officers are unable to test for pot in typical field sobriety tests because they are designed for alcohol. This glaring loophole doesn't generate data.
Kevin_Hunt August 08, 2012 at 02:35 PM
@ eaglerockmon: "Users are impaired when under the influence and likely commit a multitude of crimes". Please cite peer reviewed studies that show that marijuana use "leads to a MULTITUDE of crimes". This sounds like early 20th century Hearst yellow journalism. Even for a prohibitionist like you, this is over-the-top.
AFG August 08, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Do police need a field sobriety test when MJ is found in a urine test? Those that I know who were suspected were brought in, tested, then charged. Also their eyes were looked at and that was an issue. I don't think it's safe to say that they can't test for it because they can and for a non first offense the consequence can be jail time.
Mr. jepg August 08, 2012 at 06:06 PM
@Michael Larson :) Pretty sure I remember the post Nelson is referring to where you or one of your cronies were rallying up your stormtroopers to write/call the feds. Regarding the Feds, has it occurred to you that the Feds don't want to touch CA's MMD because they know it is a losing battle. And, that they might just be placating you and others with your complaint? Consider this, IF The Feds come in, kicking in doors, arresting MMD employes and taking away medication. Medication that has been Ok'd by the voters of CA (and many other states) they will be made to look the villain across the country. Remember that over 70% of americans support MM - links below. Then you throw on-top of it what kind of a legal battle they will have opened up. It will become one of the biggest legal battles in American history. As I am sure you know what happens just about anytime the Feds intervene with States' Laws. How do you think your side will do in that supreme court battle. I like the MM odds in large part due to facts sounding MM's many of which Nelson has posted. So to wrap it up the feds aren't coming because they know they will lose in the short term and they will lose in the long term. All in a costly boondoggle. My guess is they will be smart and let things play-out without any of the gestapo tactics you would like to bring down on our community.
Mr. jepg August 08, 2012 at 06:06 PM
links http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57327004-503544/poll-public-supports-medical-marijuana-but-not-full-pot-legalization/ http://articles.courant.com/2012-08-07/news/hc-op-tracy-fresh-talk-pol-0808-20120807_1_medical-marijuana-safe-access-oaksterdam-university
John August 08, 2012 at 06:34 PM
@marcus - I didn't say the video showed anything but a bunch of chickens clucking. I just said patients deserve privacy. @EagleRockMom - Marijuana doesn't make people commit crimes. If you lived here, you would be home by now. If marijuana was legal, it wouldn't be a crime. Porn doesn't make people rapists. Alcohol doesn't make people murderers until they are in a fatal accident. I'm not an academic so I admit I may fudge the numbers with generalizations and words like "most" or "more", but I stand by statements which included that marijuana is held to a standard disproportional to the health and social consequences attributed to it. If I could write a thesis and cite every scientific source I would, but the problem is that research is limited. As you state, The field sobriety and blood tests are designed for alcohol, not marijuana. After 70 years of marijuana being illegal, isn't it odd that the blood test looks for chemicals in marijuana that are not related to impairment. The DMV has about 8 pages of attributes to drunken drivers, but only four paragraphs related to marijuana. All they can say about pot is that it affects perception of time and space, not a good thing when you are driving. I also stated that therer are warning lables on mmj and that DUI is already illegal. It is also widely accepted that marijuana, by itself does not cause the impairment of alcohol. I can load you up with reseach links. dmv.ca.gov
John August 08, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Nearly 5,500 people died in 2009 in fatal car accidents that involved distracted driving. Almost 448,000 were injured in 2009 in distracted driving car crashes. 16 percent of fatal car crashes and 20 percent of injury-causing car crashes involve distracted driving. http://www.houstonwrongfuldeathblog.com/2012/04/a-snapshot-of-distracted-driving-statistics.shtml only 18 percent of distracted driving fatalities occur because of cellphone use. The other 82 percent? Well, just about everything else: eating and drinking; talking to passengers; grooming; reading, including maps; using a nav system; and adjusting a radio and/or iPod, just to name a few. http://thesafetyreport.com/2012/05/distracted-driving-1-second-can-change-everything/
John August 08, 2012 at 07:00 PM
In 2011, the OTS study found that 7.3 percent of drivers were using cell phones at any given time. This year the number has increased to 10.8 percent. among young drivers between 16 and 25 years old cell-phone-use statistics doubled from 9 percent to 18 percent. http://www.personalinjuryblogsacramento.com/2012/05/statistics-show-big-rise-in-california-distracted-driving-part-i.shtml a simple task that is reported by the Society of Automotive Engineers to cause over two million accidents per year: Turn signal neglect. The SAE analyzed 12,000 vehicles and found that 48% of them neglected turn signals during lane change maneuvers and 25% neglected to signal when turning. There were 192000 arrests for alcohol DUI in 2007. Of these, 170,000 were convicted. There were 1489 alcohol-related fatalities (37.5%), and 749 drug-related fatalities (18.8%), some of which also included alcohol. http://stash.norml.org/california-dmv-states-medical-marijuana-alone-not-valid-reason-to-suspend-license The DMV Driver Safety Procedure Manual was revised to include reference to medical marijuana, stating that “use of medicinal marijuana approved by a physician should be handled in the same manner as any other prescription medication which may affect safe driving.” The manual states that the existence of medical marijuana use “does not, in itself, constitute grounds for a license withdrawal action.” http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/curriculum/Unit%2010.pdf.
EagleRockMom August 08, 2012 at 07:31 PM
@John My bad on adding "likely" to my statement without further clarification. I didn't mean pot smokers are automatic criminals. What I meant to say was that it is likely that users offend much more often than statistics indicate.
Kevin_Hunt August 08, 2012 at 08:10 PM
@ eaglerock mom: "What I meant to say was that it is likely that users offend much more often than statistics indicate." 1) What types of crime are you talking about besides DUID? 2) Where do you get the basis for your assertion that there is a causal connection between marijuana use and said crimes? In other words, explain how this "impairment" from marijuana causes people to act in a violent manner or steal, etc. Don't expect anyone to take you seriously unless you are going to back up your claims with some kind of real (not anecdotal) evidence.
EagleRockMom August 08, 2012 at 09:22 PM
@Kevin If there is little statistical crime data regarding marijuana users then it would be erroneous to assume they don't commit crime.
Kevin_Hunt August 08, 2012 at 09:53 PM
@eaglerockmom: "If there is little statistical crime data regarding marijuana users then it would be erroneous to assume they don't commit crime." Yes, but do they commit crimes at a greater rate than the general population, adjusting for such things as socioeconomic factors, etc? Answer that question and we can address your evidence for a causal relationship. I didn't "assume that they don't commit crimes", I am merely asking you for the source of your belief that "that it is likely that users offend much more often than statistics indicate". Is your belief the result of some kind of study or your own personal bias against marijuana consumers? You do know that marijuana was outlawed to punish Americans of certain races and political ideologies, don't you? The historical evidence is strong for that hypothesis.
allowfreedom August 09, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I was called to Jury duty and ended up being brought into a drug (marijuana) case. When I was polled, I stated that I believed in “Jury Nullification” and was then called to a side bar for clarification. I don't believe the prosecution knew what I was talking about. After I stated my case I was released from that group.
allowfreedom August 09, 2012 at 12:32 AM
I want completely unregulated, unfettered, profit-taking pot stores on every corner!
allowfreedom August 09, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Since we are dealing with a Federal Government that is even more backwards on this issue than some of the commenters on this site, there is a genuine fear that using real names while supporting a federally illegal substance could lead to trouble. Therefore I am “allowfreedom”.
Kevin_Hunt August 09, 2012 at 12:52 AM
"I stated that I believed in “Jury Nullification” and...I was released from that group." Yep, the gov does not like it when you know your rights.
John August 09, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Here's my take on the video: I first saw it on KCET and I was blown away that my position as a patient was secondary to that of people that don't like medical marijuana, don't like stores with signs or stores without signs, don't like security guards, but want security guards, don't like how people look, don't believe patients have a legitimate need, don't believe a doctor should recommend marijuana, don't like the smell of marijuana, don't want dispensaries to be permitted, don't want dispensaries to operate without a permit, don't want free markets, don't want customers in their neighborhoods, don't want the economic benefits of MMDs, don't believe their own statistics, and who believe marijuana should be treated like a dangerous drug when there is no comparison to the health and social consequences of other prescription drugs, opiates, alcohol, tobacco, sugar and guns. I was so astonished that KCET presented such a one sided view that I started reading the Eagle Rock Patch to see just who it was who wanted to trample my rights and make my life difficult. I suddenly got religeon and came to my senses. I decided to champion the benefits of medical marijuana, dispensaries, and free markets . This video made me read the United States Constitution, marijuana laws, and watch the entire city council debate. Thank you Mr. Larsen, Marijuana will be completely legal soon because of your inspiration. God and the American People are on my side.
EagleRockMom August 10, 2012 at 02:30 AM
@Kevin My apologies for the late response. Admittedly, I've neglected the computer in order to maximize my time watching the Olympics. Where were we? Oh yes... Who knows if pot smokers offend more than non-users. I have simply noticed that several pro-marijuana folks continually tout that users "never" commit crimes while under the influence and that it is a safe drug in comparison to other substances.
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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