- Written by Bob Blue and Doug Haines
09 Oct 2012
VOICES - Tuesday, October 9 is your last opportunity to convince the Los Angeles City Council to reverse last week’s political decision to repeal the ban on marijuana dispensaries and not place the issue on the March, 2013 General Election ballot.
Last Tuesday, in response to petitions submitted by marijuana advocates, the City Council eliminated all regulation of marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles. The council voted 11 to 2 to repeal the so-called “gentle ban,” an ordinance enacted amid much publicity this summer after recent court decisions determined that a city can ban dispensaries but not regulate them.
By repealing the ban, the City Council has left our police and City departments powerless to control marijuana dispensaries, meaning that a dispensary can open anywhere in the City of LA at any time with no laws to prevent it and no laws to regulate it.
On Tuesday October 9, the City Council is required to have a second vote on its decision to repeal the “gentle ban” ordinance. The City Council is taking this second vote because last week’s vote was not unanimous.
Placing this matter on the March, 2013 General Election ballot would cost taxpayers absolutely nothing, despite erroneous comments by some council members and the media claiming otherwise.
Because of the City Council’s failure to uphold the ban, the Police have no authority to enter marijuana dispensaries and the City Attorney has no authority to prosecute them.
This was a political decision by members of the City Council to avoid controversy during the March 2013 City-wide election, which would have potentially endangered their re-election bids by upsetting the well-financed marijuana lobby.
The Los Angeles City Council is the highest paid City Council in the United States, with members earning almost as much as US Senators. Yet Los Angeles is the only City in California incapable of controlling Marijuana Dispensaries. In contrast, San Francisco has 23 dispensaries, West Hollywood has 4 and Santa Monica, Glendale, Burbank, and Pasadena have none.
The City of LA has an annual budget of almost $7 billion, maintains a police force of over 9,000 officers, and has 500 attorneys in the Office of the City Attorney. Yet our Councilmembers now claim that their hands are tied when it comes to marijuana dispensaries, that they are powerless to shut them down, and that their only option they is to appeal to the State legislature for help -- even though the state’s legislative session is over and no changes to State marijuana regulations would occur for a year.
Don’t be fooled by the political hacks that have created this mess in the first place. Contact all Councilmembers now and insist that the ban be placed on the March, 2013 ballot so that the people of Los Angeles can decide whether or not marijuana dispensaries should be controlled. Nothing is lost by placing the measure on the ballot and everything is gained to protect our neighborhoods from the criminals who actually own and operate these dispensaries.
Right now there are over a thousand dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles. How many more do we need before our highly paid council members stop playing politics and instead start representing the people who elected them?
Contact all Councilmembers by clicking here.
Vol 10 Issue 81
Pub: Oct 9, 2012