With Councilman José Huizar's marijuana dispensary ban ordinance soon headed to the Los Angeles City Council for approval, the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients has crafted a pair of alternatives that they hope will keep the shops open.
After consulting with Council staff, we and our attorneys have developed two motions: the first motion orders the L.A.P.D. and City officials to enforce current public nuisance abatement laws, while high court decisions are made that will decide how cities can regulate; the second motion provides an alternative to a complete ban, which we’re calling a “ban in abeyance” or soft ban, which requires proof of good behavior for a dispensary to continue operating and points to ways to regulate (including using third party verification) which can be implemented regardless of court decisions.
Huizar's ban would shutter all of Los Angeles' dispensaries, while still allowing patients or certified caregivers to grow medical marijuana.
According to Huizar, his ordinance is in response to the California Second District Court of Appeal's finding the case of Pack v. the City of Long Beach, in which the court ruled that Long Beach's medical marijuana ordinance violated federal law by attempting to regulate the sale of a federally prohibited substance.
The ruling declares that states are only allowed to decriminalize marijuana, not regulate it.
Though the --as well as --seemingly closing the door on potential lawsuits, Huizar said it was "more imperative than ever" that the city ban dispensaries.
The alternatives proposed by the union would call for city to more stringently police the nuissances that oppoenent associate with marijuana dispensaries--such as loitering and second hand sales of marijuana to minors--while allowing shops in good standing to remain open.
Copies of the alternative ordinances can be downloaded from the media box on the right.
The The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients plans to hold a press conference Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in the hallway outside the Council Chamber at downtown City Hall.