Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Will One Hundred Pot Clubs Be Enough for Los Angeles?

by David Downs
Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM

They say history is a wheel and this week it definitely looks like we're going back — to the future.

On Monday, KCET reported that medical marijuana proponents have begun gathering signatures for a ballot measure to allow one hundred dispensaries in the medical marijuana battleground of Los Angeles. A similar plan by councilman Paul Koretz is also working through City Hall, KCET reports.

"City Clerk spokeswoman Kimberly Briggs said in a statement Monday that the initiative organizers will need to gather 41,138 valid signatures by Dec. 7 to get the issue on May's general election ballot," the Associated Press reported.

Several years ago, the City Council tried to limit the number of clubs to one hundred, but that effort was met by a flurry of lawsuits from defiant store owners who said they had a right to be there. A 2012 UCLA study estimates about 473 medical cannabis storefronts are open in the City. Los Angeles tried to ban them entirely this year, but locals raised 50,000 signatures in nine days to halt the ban.

Lambs Bread medical cannabis
It's unclear what would make this new 100-club plan viable at the ballot or at the City Council, or whether it would be any more legally tenable than the last 100-club plan. We sure hope it's a workable number, because if these two new efforts fail, we're back to square one.

Meanwhile, the D.E.A. and local police continue to mail threatening letters to pot shops, intimidate them in person, raid them, seize pot and cash, arrest and prosecute operators, as well as shut down their bank accounts.

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