Los Angeles approves long-awaited medical marijuana ordinance… But is it right for patients?

Jan 26, 2010 ,

After more than two years of deliberation — and just plain foot-dragging — on the issue, the Los Angeles City Council voted 9-3 today to enact an ordinance regulating the operation of medical marijuana facilities in the city. It’s certainly a significant milestone that the second largest city in the nation (eighth in the world) has a law on the books allowing marijuana to be sold through locally regulated storefronts. However, upon digging into the details of the ordinance, it doesn’t seem to be a great boon for the seriously ill and injured Angelenos who rely on medical marijuana.

The ordinance will restrict the number of medical marijuana facilities in the city to 70, but it does grandfather in about 150 collectives which were registered with the city prior to a moratorium which went into effect in 2007. The law will also require all marijuana products to be tested for contaminants and pesticides by an “independent and certified laboratory.” Testing of this nature is a great idea and indeed some in California’s medical marijuana community are working on developing such practices and standards, but finding a lab equipped for this type of testing overnight will be no small chore.

What’s probably the most troublesome detail is that the new ordinance institutes 1,000-foot zones around “sensitive uses” where medical marijuana collectives cannot operate legally. These include schools, public parks, libraries, and even churches. This huge 1,000-foot radius and another requirement that facilities may not be located adjacent to residential zones — which is not required of alcohol vendors — will force nearly all to move.

Meanwhile, patients looking for a safe and open place to acquire their medicine in Los Angeles may just be finding life that much more difficult.

12 responses to “Los Angeles approves long-awaited medical marijuana ordinance… But is it right for patients?”

  1. is this a win or a “win”. sounds like its actually going to make things more difficult for some that are already having mobility issues.

  2. This is a huge setback. This could be just the beginning of some bad idea. This will keep the prices way out of control. Why are med patients going to be forced to pay moore money for less access to their meds? With less competition, higher prices can be charged. This is the first step in the gov. taking over the cannabis trade. As long as big bro has a hand in anything, we will never be free. I could go on for hours with facts and the proof to back up what I said about our big bro we call gov. Over grow big bro and free the weed.

  3. Exactly what Cali needs- more unemployed people!
    This is the “Free Market” constricting true capitalism. There are too many people with successful businesses selling a product many people want or need and not padding the pockets of Wall Street. They would be well advised to take a look at the dollar amounts of product being sold through these storefronts and decide if they are comfortable with criminals instead reaping the financial profits.

  4. Aren’t liquor stores limited in the same ways? The city council is apparently looking at MM as a drug of abuse still (one they haven’t figured out how to tax yet) rather than medicine.

  5. Eeeeek. Are they about to do the same thing that the marijuana tax act accomplished? The law will also require all marijuana products to be tested for contaminants and pesticides by an “independent and certified laboratory.”

    Yeah, I know of a bunch of labs capable of testing all of
    Cali’s MMJ.

    Stop the bullshit. Legalize.

  6. Change.org is asking for more ideas…. I am asking that Marijuana be removed from a Schedule I substance (I think you would all agree this should happen).

    Please go vote and tell your friends to as well (you have to sign up with change.org first):


    Yeah… I realize this may be glossed over once again, but it doesn’t hurt us to keep pressing the issue!!! The vote gathering will go on until Feb 18th and we need to make sure this idea gets to and stays in the top three. I emplore you to take two minutes and sign up and vote. Pass this around on facebook, myspace, twitter, and any other pro-pot websites so that we can get the most attention as we can.

  7. If you ask me, it’s a moot point. Why go buy pot from a dispensary when you can grow fantastic stuff right in your own backyard? Six plants? If I could grow legally in the California weather, I would only need two!

  8. Bo makes a good point. Medical mj users in Cali have a pretty open opportunity to grow their own, whether as an individual or as a collective. Anybody have any word on how widespread the collective model has become (as opposed to the dispensary model)?

  9. The LA ordinance is frighteningly well written. The deliberate inclusion of a secondary effects report keeps it well above the Erie v. Paps bar for these sort of regulations. You can thank Sandy O’Connor for the SCOTUS NIMBY landmark.

  10. Growing MJ that is more than a weed first requires the ability to identify the sex of the plant. Then once all the males are removed, make the females desperate to mate. The pure essence of a desire to mate in nature is what people smoke. Not some bible belt tobacco leaf trash tar.

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