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Medical Marijuana Initiative to Go to City Council

A measure that would significantly reduce the number of pot dispensaries in Los Angeles, while setting tighter operating restrictions, has garnered the required signatures, city clerk says.

An initiative that would allow about 100 medical marijuana shops to continue operating under tighter restrictions in Los Angeles is expected to be considered by the City Council later this month.

City Clerk June Lagmay announced on Wednesday that backers of the initiative, dubbed the "Medical Marijuana Collectives Initiative Ordinance," had gathered the required 41,138 signatures on a petition.

The clerk's certification sends the initiative to the City Council, which can adopt the ordinance as is, call a special election, or place the item on the May 21 general municipal election ballot. The City Council is expected to make a decision on the measure this month.

If enacted, the measure would reduce the number of medical marijuana dispensaries from somewhere in the hundreds down to about 100 that would operate under various restrictions, including business hours and location. Key to hitting to that target number is a provision that would require the dispensaries to prove they were operating before Sept. 14, 2007, when the city first tried to place a moratorium on new pot shops.

The group sponsoring the initiative is called the Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods. It is made up of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance and Americans for Safe Access L.A.

UFCW Local 770 President Rick Icaza said the initiative would "guarantee safe access to medical cannabis for those suffering from debilitating and painful diseases and conditions, while at the same time enforcing the rule of law and protecting neighborhoods."

Icaza urged the City Council to adopt the ordinance instead of placing it on the ballot. 

"It's time to stop playing politics with people's health and the safety of our communities," Icaza said, referring to the city's years of attempts to regulate medical marijuana.

The latest attempt came in July, when the City Council voted to ban all storefront dispensaries. That effort was reversed in October when medical marijuana supporters gathered enough signatures to repeal the ban.

Meanwhile, a group backing a separate medical marijuana initiative last month submitted more than 73,500 petition signatures to qualify a measure that would place similar time and place restrictions on dispensaries, but would not limit the number to those that opened prior to the Sept. 14, 2007 cutoff.

That initiative, backed by a group called Angelenos for Safe Access, would allow storefront medical cannabis collectives to operate if they are at least 500 to 1,000 feet from schools, parks, libraries, childcare centers and religious institutions. It would also impose a business tax of $60 on every $1,000 of marijuana sold at the dispensaries.

Michael January 04, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Nimby, this is not true. Walgreens pharmacy dispenses medical marijuana at the corner of Vineland and Ventura. I suspect they are not alone. Barry, perhaps you don't want to answer the question. I'm not trying to control you. Quite the opposite. I'm saying you are allowed all the pot you can afford to buy, provided you have a prescription. You can buy it at a pharmacy, which is there to fill prescriptions. This is the same courtesy I have for someone purchasing oxicontin or vicodin. I'm not discriminating at all. You are asking for the right to put a dedicated marijuana dispensary in my neighborhood. I am asking why? Why do you need this specialty store in my neighborhood which sells a federally illegal substance? What does it offer that a pharmacy does not?
Anonymous Nimby Crank January 04, 2013 at 10:08 PM
I called the pharmacy and they DO NOT sell Medical Marijuana, they very well may fill Marinol Rx but not MMJ. If they did the DEA would shut them down immediately. Call them up, here is their number 818-761-6563. I'm not saying that selling in a pharmacy is a bad idea, I'm just saying it doesn't happen, you are either trying to pass on disinformation or are misinformed.
Jerome Courshon January 04, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Michael - Why do you keep saying that Walgreens (the store at Ventura & Vineland) carries medical marijuana in their pharmacy? You've said it in several posts here, and it is simply NOT true. Who told you they sell it? Did you actually call them? (No, you didn't.) You seem to think there's no reason why a pharmacy couldn't stock and sell this in California. There are several reasons, one of them being Federal law. Read my previous post above, or others' posts, for more of an explanation.
Barry Cullison January 04, 2013 at 11:09 PM
We had the hippies the yuppies the me generation bla bla bla. But it seems there is a tremendous amount of lying going on now days. I told the guy at the start of his rant that he was a liar.
Duff Strong January 05, 2013 at 12:52 AM
What a miserable person you must be.
Barry Cullison January 05, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Is this the guy that owns councilman Huizar?
AFG January 05, 2013 at 04:04 AM
@Flying: You have said before that there are NO recorded marijuana related deaths, but you are forgetting the auto accidents caused by DUI of marijuana.
FlyingTooLow January 05, 2013 at 02:22 PM
@AFG... Marijuana has never been 'the primary cause of death'...unlike alcohol consumption which can lead to alcohol poisoning...a literal anesthetizing of the body's motor mechanisms until they cease functioning.... Marijuana, in and of itself, has never been found to be 'the direct cause' of a single death throughout recorded history...look it up...I could post hundreds of links but your own research will be more enlightening. The closest I have ever seen marijuana come to harming anyone was during an air drop. We brought in 1100 pounds from Jamaica and dropped it in a peanut field in middle Georgia. The bales were dropped from a small plane at 125 feet altitude. One of the bales, about 80 pounds, missed my compadre by only a few feet... but it surely messed up his truck. You can read about it in: Shoulda Robbed a Bank That is my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are. AFG, I wish you a very safe, happy, and prosperous New Year, Hugh Yonn
Michael Jimenez January 05, 2013 at 10:24 PM
We should be free to grow it naturally and give it to a neighbor to share with like if you were baking a pie or cookies. If someone wants to sell it, then get a permit and sell it, but lets get rid of the stigma that this wonderful herb has by all those who repeat the nonsense. I was told by a very spiritual leader once that Marijuana helps to open your mind. I agree! If you are sick, then opening your mind (mind over matter) helps you deal with the pain until your body make the necessary corrections. To heal takes time. The medical system sells magic bullets which throws your body's natural balance and ability to heal itself. I trust nature infinately more then any man made pill. The Human body knows how to heal itself. You just need to trust it and feed it nurturing, healing foods. Most will not change their habits, so we have a medical system that supplies an alternative...
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 06, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Yep....Hey, I told a guy once that I had an open mind and was told it should be closed for repaira....Healing Foods and Sensuous vapor, here I come
AFG January 06, 2013 at 01:27 AM
@FTL- to me the distinction between "primary cause of death" and merely death do not matter. You could say that in auto related death because of driving under the influence of alcohol, that the car is the primary cause of death, etc. If your child had been harmed or killed by an stoned on marijuana driver, you would not care at all that marijuana never killed anyone like alcohol kills, etc. ANYTHING that impairs you while driving can kill or harm others and is therefor not a good thing if you are driving. Seriously you don't know ONE marijuana smoker who is screwed up, messed up, or memory impaired? It is not the wonder drug, or the wonder herb for every single user and to tout it as such is irresponsible, just at it is irresponsible to sing the "it's just a natural herb, from the earth, a harmless plant that could NEVER hurt you" song. Think it through - alcohol is also not a bad thing if used how it was intended to be used. A glass of wine with dinner doesn't hurt anybody and helps your BP etc., but the problem comes with over exaggerated use or addiction and users of all things can use them irresponsibly or over much. Your experience with your dope drop, etc. is perhaps interesting, but it does not convince me that pot is good. Perhaps our laws are ridiculously easy on bank robbers and ridiculously hard on dopers, but that in and of itself does not make marijuana a GOOD thing all the time for all people. It is questionable behavior that makes all the difference.
FlyingTooLow January 06, 2013 at 01:45 PM
@AFG... I am not trying to 'convince' you that pot is good. That is your decision alone. However, the concept most overlooked in 'the war on drugs.'...freedom of the individual. We are Americans..we live in a free country...this is what we have been told since birth. The prohibition of marijuana is a farce. We are a free people. It is time to start living the way our forefathers intended. Law enforcement needs to re-direct its focus on crime...to those that are REAL crimes. The Libertarian philosophy is that "We all have the intrinsic right to live in any way we wish as long as our actions have no adverse or detrimental effect on any other human or inhibit their rights to free life." This is a good and sound credo for life, and it applies well to the use of marijuana.
Michael Jimenez January 06, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Fishback, there are those who treat the human body as a machine and there are those who have realized that the human body is a dynamic spiritual vessel wherein lies a power unfathamable to those who are ignorant to the natural order of life. Like a fish in the ocean that does not know water.
AFG January 06, 2013 at 08:44 PM
@FTL - I guess that is the crux of the issue in ER regarding MMDs and MMJ. People probably didn't care at all what went on in someone's home, they just cared about the dispensaries and the problems that ensued. Maybe they could set up some sort of mail order MMJ delivery and the problem would be solved all the way around. Re: the war on drugs - from law enforcements standpoint the personal choices of others often do impact the rest of society which is perhaps why they are reluctant to let it all go. If you make marijuana a personal choice what are you going to do when someone else wants cocaine or heroin as their choice? Drugs and degeneration of society are a case study years in the making. I'm not sure I was even saying that you were trying to convince me that pot is good; more so just that hardcore pot advocates rarely seem to want to acknowledge the downside of the issue or even admit that pot also has a serious downside.
Barry Cullison January 06, 2013 at 08:48 PM
If gun huggers can be hard headed about their"rights", why can't we?
Dan Crandell January 06, 2013 at 09:33 PM
@Bruce and Damaged Brain... Here's one for you. Three boys over in Monrovia were cooking up some "honey oil" this morning using a butane burner. Damn thing exploded nearly blowing the roof off the house. Now they are in the hospital over in Pasadena. My conclusion ... Pot destroys houses.too
Barry Cullison January 06, 2013 at 09:52 PM
You mean like guns? Guns kill people right out the barrel. THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE FOR. Pot is not grow to kill anything. Hard Core Gun huggers have more freedom to kill than we have to toke-up. And don't equate heroine or cocaine with pot That is uninformed and stupid! That's like comparing a rifle to a nuclear missile. Your solutions are prejudiced and have nothing to do with a solution. Talk to Uncle Sam about using the mail.
Dan Crandell January 06, 2013 at 10:43 PM
@ Damaged Brain I just drove past that destroyed house in Monrovia. Some nice man told me that it was the butane cylinder that destroyed the house and not the pot. Forget my other comment.
AFG January 06, 2013 at 10:47 PM
@Barry: My solutions are prejudiced? Which solution? The mail? A lot of things that kill people are not grown to kill them. Pot not being grown to kill anyone is not pertinent when it's the usage of pot that is being talked about. Pot does have a serious downside for many people, which is often avoided/denied by proponents of its use. What do guns have to do with this? As has been said many times before delineating things that are "worse" than pot don't really help solve or alleviate the problems with pot.
John January 07, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Two million accidents each year by sober people who don't use turn signals. Of the 5,000 alcohol related driving fatalities in California, 1742 included drugs of any kind. 20,000 prescription drug overdose fatalies, 50,000 alcohol poisoning deaths. 400,000 tobacco related fatalities. Among alcoholics, drug addicts and pot heads, the alcoholics are the most memory impaired, with the most health problems. (Trade clean pipes for a perforated liver). Marijuana is a red herring. It should be no more regulated than alcohol or tobacco, or tomatoes or ginseng or brownies or big macs. As Cheech and Chong said 40 years ago, "The only problem with marijuana is that I'm out right now." Let the market decide how to make it available, and let individuals decide for themselves whether to use it or not. God Bless America! Land of the Free! Home of the Brave! Let Freedom Ring!
AFG January 07, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Surely there is a more inspiring example than Cheech and Chong?
Barry Cullison January 07, 2013 at 04:06 AM
If schmucks can have so many guns that children and people are killed on a weekly basis, and yet gun huggers REFUSE to acknowledge the correlation or the problem with their so called freedom; what makes you think any of this garbage about pot is a problem? If their freedom allows killing then leave us pot smokers the hell alone until you do-gooders solve that (REAL) problems in this macho childish society. Yeah, your problem with pot is a pop corn fart with all the travails that this country faces.
AFG January 07, 2013 at 04:22 AM
@Barry I'm sorry you are delusional.
Barry Cullison January 07, 2013 at 06:10 AM
So, What fire arm is your choice of relaxation?
Dan Crandell January 07, 2013 at 06:36 AM
@ Cullison You must be part of that so called generation with self esteem issues. Are you really really really this unstable ??? Gees man either get a grip or tell us you're just pulling the chain for the kicks. The topic medicine of this thread may be a product for you to dabble in. You suck when trying to look intelligent. Good luck on your recovery.
Barry Cullison January 07, 2013 at 07:00 AM
Dan it's nice to find a brother in arms.
Cricket January 07, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Michael: !st off, these aren't dispensaries, they are Collectives. What I can't get from Walgreen's is a say in how the operation is run. As a member of my Collective, I get to vote on what non-profit to donate proceeds to, what services are offered to patients, what events my Collective takes part in, etc. This is the same reason I belong to a Credit Union and not a big bank. Should I not have that choice either because Credit Unions are an eye sore to some individuals? It isn't always about getting stoned. Get with the program.
Cricket January 07, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Sorry, replied to the wrong post. Hopefully this answers Mikey's question. Michael: 1st off, these aren't dispensaries, they are Collectives. What I can't get from Walgreen's is a say in how the operation is run. As a member of my Collective, I get to vote on what non-profit to donate proceeds to, what services are offered to patients, what events my Collective takes part in, what types of strains they will get in, what community events we volunteer for, etc. This is the same reason I belong to a Credit Union and not a big bank. Should I not have that choice either because Credit Unions are an eye sore to some individuals? It isn't always about getting stoned. Get with the program.
Patrick Duff January 13, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Now with the second initiative, sponsered by David Welch, the lawyer who represents hundreds of collectives without any insurance, I almost had a stroke when I read it. It actually states that all collectives must be authorized by state and FEDERAL law. Yup, it says, FEDERAL law. Not once, not twice, but several times. It also gives full power back to the city council to ammend the ordnance by a majority vote. Now I don't know any other voters initiative that has sought to take the power away from the legislature only to hand it right back to them on a platter. It goes against the point of a voters initiatve. Just read section 5 of the initiative, the last paragraph, which most never bother reading. Both initiatives are self serving, one serving the interests of the small group of owners, the other serving the devious nature of David Welch's plan to do the dirty work of the city attorney and feds. If they wanted to really make a difference they would have decriminalized marijuana in this city and taken a step forward like washington and Colorado have done, not create more of an impedement to freeing the most useful plant on the earth. Both of these seek more prohibitions through what they say are better rules for the "patients" and "communities", when they should just admit they are playing Milton Bradley games and trying to get the get out of jail free card and Boardwalk and park Place.
Damian January 24, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Walgreens and Rite Aid doesn't sell marijuana idiot. Maybe if they did, then we wouldn't have people like you complaining all the time about dispensaries "attracting crime." Michael, dear.. you just answered your own question. It needs to be legalized like alcohol and tobacco, because I never see people standing outside of shops trying to re-sell packs of cigarettes or bottles of beer.

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