Nov 16 2009

Los Angeles city council to ban medical marijuana dispensaries Wednesday


The new improved ordinance by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in The City of Los Angeles is on the city council agenda for 10:00am Wednesday, November 18, 2009.

Today, Monday the 16th at 8:30 AM, there will be a special joint session of the Public Safety Committee and the Planning & Land Use Management Committee where the ordinance to regulate medical marijuana collectives will be discussed publicly for the first time.

Both meetings will be at the main council chamber as a large turnout is expected.  The meetings will be broadcast over the internet at

Since the City Attorney’s office did not highlight the additions and deletions with underscore and strikeout, or in any other manner, a comparison of this 5th draft with the previous one is difficult to make. The Summary of Improvements states:

An unclear reference to “edibles” has been deleted. It had been interpreted to mean that edible forms of medical marijuana could not be provided to patients. That was never the intention. The intention was to prevent the sale of manufactured medical marijuana products, including edibles.

Under the Summary of Policy Considerations is found:

The fifth draft ordinance, like all previous versions, bans medical marijuana sales.   Sales remain precluded by state and federal law.  We have attached a brief on the applicable law.  We have also enclosed the ballot pamphlet that accompanied the voters’ adoption of the Compassionate use Act, including its neutral legislative analysis that presumed no fiscal impact from the measure and its proponents’ express statements that cultivation for personal use but no sales would be allowed.

The brief enclosed is the Mentch decision, and completely lacking from their supporting documents is any mention of what that has to do with the legality of sales of medical marijuana.

Among the points in the Summary of Policy Considerations is found the following:

This draft maintains the 1000 foot radius distance from sensitive uses that has been specified in each of the prior drafts.  We have anticipated that the propriety of this distance will be confirmed by a mapping exercise of the city Planning Department.  However, to date, we have not received actual maps to confirm that the 1000 foot distance strikes an appropriate balance between sensitive uses and compassionate access.

On Sunday, November 15th, The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients announced their lawyers Jarvis and Krieger will sue the city if it passes the ordinance.  The Union states they informed the city of their intent to sue on Friday 13th, and submitted their review of the pertinent case law.

The meetings may also be heard via telephone: COUNCILPHONE, A dial-up system which allows the public to listen to live coverage of the Los Angeles City Public Meetings from any phone. The numbers may be used from any location, not just in Los Angeles. Dial up and listen in. Use any of these 4 numbers- (213) 621-CITY, (310) 547-CITY, (310) 471-CITY or (818) 904-9450.

For more info:
Fifth revised draft ordinance regarding medical marijuana collectives – City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles City Council Agenda – City of Los Angeles | 18 Nov 09
Los Angeles City Council Calendar – City of Los Angeles
Advancing Medical Cannabis Regulations in Los Angeles – Americans for Safe Access
Putting a lid on pot sales in L.A. – The Los Angeles Times Editorial | 29 Oct 09
LA City Attorney Blows Smoke – CityWatch | 27 Oct 09
Los Angeles city attorney declares war on medical marijuana – | 23 Oct 09

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