LA City Council Approves New Medical Marijuana Law
The Los Angeles City Council Friday capped the number of pot shops at 100, with only those that opened on or before September 14, 2007, qualifying to enter a new lottery system that will determine who may continue to operate. The urgency ordinance approved on a 12-0 vote follows a judge's December ruling that struck down L.A.'s old ordinance as arbitrary and capricious. The L.A. City Council acted amid concerns that pot shops were sprouting back up across the city. “Already in my district, I have illegal operators who are already redecorating and remodeling their shops ready to reopen," Councilman Paul Krekorian of the San Fernando Valley said. Councilman Jose Huizar said illegal pot shops already were popping back up in his East L.A. district.
“It is affecting the quality of life," Huizar said. "The sooner we put this genie back in the bottle, it's going to improve the quality of life for thousands and thousands of Angelinos.” The new ordinance eliminates a grandfather clause that allowed as many as 187 pot shops in L.A. It retains restrictions that keep shops at least 1,000 feet away from schools, parks and churches. The law also creates a lottery to select the 100 that may remain open. Councilman Richard Alarcon said the lottery was a bad idea. “By doing a lottery, we are not able to select who the best providers will be," Alarson said. "We could literally end up with the worst providers of the bunch."
Alarcon ended up supporting the measure, and successfully lobbied the council to explore establishing and advisory council on medical marijuana. Medical marijuana advocates said the city's law remains too restrictive, and could prevent people who need pot from getting it. T.V. personality Montel Williams became emotional as he described how he desperately needed pot to treat pain caused by multiple sclerosis. “Every single one of those doctors has recommended for me to continue using marijuana because I came to a point that opiates don’t do it," Williams said. Williams is a national advocate for medical marijuana. He was arrested earlier this month for possession of a pot pipe at the Milwaukee Airport. Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian said he was sympathetic to medical marijuana users but thought the cap and other restrictions would prevent another explosion of pot shops. L.A. had as many as 1,000 at one point. "I for one am not comfortable with opening it up to the wild west again," Krekorian said
Oregon Could Legalize Pot By 2012
The executive director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation is working to get a measure on the ballot in 2012 to legalize marijuana in the state of Oregon. Paul Stanford also says it should be taxed like cigarettes and liquor to generate millions of dollars of revenue for the state. He says it would be regulated and distributed to people over the age of 21. “We want to regulate it so that businesses like bars and taverns that bar the admission of minors can offer that as a business,” he said.
He says it would bring a steady flow of cash for the state. “Alcohol revenues bring in about $75 million. It will create lots of new jobs. It will create all these new industries. We think it will be billions and billions of dollars in the long run.” Some say it’s a drug that is safer than beer and wine. “It affects your brain differently,” said Chris Becket, who agrees with the idea. “I don’t think it affects it as severely as alcohol does, especially when you’re driving.” But not everyone is ready to walk through a haze of smoke. “Typically, people that are smoking marijuana become more apathetic, and they lose their desire to get out, work and accomplish things,” said Wayne Turner. About 90 percent of the revenue brought in would go to the state’s general fund. In order to get the idea on the ballot, Stanford needs to get nearly 90,000 signatures.
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N.J. Advocates For Medical Marijuana Blast Proposed Regulations
Medical marijuana advocates say the regulations New Jersey has proposed for medical pot don't make sense for businesses, patients or doctors. Advocates used a state Senate committee hearing today mostly to blast the proposed regulations, which had few defenders there. The hearing was a step in a rare constitutional manoeuvre the state Legislature is using to try to force Gov. Chris Christie's health department to come up with new regulations.
Some lawmakers say the rules drafted by the Christie administration don't follow the intent of the legislation that authorized medical marijuana. After the hearing, the next step is a vote to invalidate the regulations. That can't happen for at least 20 days.
Paris' Boyfriend Faces Felony Charges
Back in August, Paris Hilton's boyfriend Cy Waits was arrested in Vegas for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Now, it looks like Waits faces a felony charge of "being under the influence of marijuana," and misdemeanor charges of "possession of marijuana and driving under the influence."
If convicted, Paris' BF could get up to four years in jail! Yikes.
According to the toxicology report, there was marijuana found in Waits' blood around the time of his arrest, and given the fact that being on ANY drug in Nevada is a felony, it looks like he MAY be in trouble.
His arraignment is scheduled for Feb 17.
Sorry to hear it Cy, but actions have consequences…especially in Las Vegas.
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