The Stupidity of L.A.s Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban
In this video The Young Turks discuss the recent medical cannabis dispensary ban in the city of Los Angeles and how…well, stupid it is. They also tie the city council’s decision into the larger drug war as a whole, and how depressing it is to see what seems like regression on an issue we thought we had won.
But patients and advocates will continue to fight. In fact, on Friday a medical marijuana trade group and 11 patients sued the city of Los Angeles, looking to block enforcement of an ordinance that would shut down most of the city's storefront pot dispensaries in three weeks.
The lawsuit, which says users are protected by California's 1996 legalization of medical marijuana and the U.S. Constitution, seeks an immediate injunction to keep Los Angeles officials from closing down dispensaries beginning on Sept. 6.
Meanwhile, advocates are canvassing the city gathering signatures to get a repeal of the ban on the ballot. A lot of energy that should be directed at helping patients now has to be spent defending the very right of people to have a choice in what medicine they take.
Los Angeles Dispensary Owners Fight Ban
Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Face Sept. 6th Deadline to Close
By some accounts there are over 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles, and they have all been sent letters telling them they have until September 6th to close their doors or face legal action.
Instead of going through the “trouble” of regulating dispensaries in L.A., the city council has decided to take the easiest and most economically destructive path of approving a full ban. For example, if each dispensary in Los Angeles has an average of 3 employees, that’s about 3,000 jobs the city council feels are just not needed.
The council's vote allows primary caregivers and patients to grow and transport marijuana. Under the new ordinance, two or three patients are allowed to collectively grow and share marijuana in homes or apartments, but not storefronts. Those who have medical marijuana cards will still be able to grow and smoke marijuana, but they won't be able to go into a dispensary and buy it.
Meaning those who are not able to grow or don’t have someone who can grow for them must either do without or resort to the black market for their medication.
So the council doesn’t do their job, destroys thousands of real jobs and denies health care to tens of thousands of people. Is this what the citizens of Los Angeles voted for? How hard can it possibly be to set up some regulations governing dispensaries?
In fact, isn’t that one of the functions of city government, to regulate local businesses? What recourse do voters have when their government stops doing its job, other than to vote everyone out and try different people?
It is the height of lunacy to destroy jobs in a struggling economy. Every action by the council should be directed toward things like job growth and better quality healthcare.
AZ Governors Waiver Allows State Attorney General to go After Medical Marijuana
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed a waiver that allows Attorney General Tom Horne to try to close down the marijuana dispensaries that her state health department is in the process of licensing.
AG Horne recently released a formal legal opinion which stated that the voter-approved medical marijuana in AZ violated federal law. Why would he bother stating this obvious fact formally unless he was planning on doing something about it?
For her part, the Governor said Thursday that she does not intend to block Health Director Will Humble from continuing the process of issuing state permits. And Humble, who conducted a lottery Tuesday to see who gets to serve each of the 126 health districts in the state, said the first of those shops could be open by the end of this month.
"I gave him a waiver and put kind of a wall between Mr. Horne and myself so that he could represent this position and he could still represent me with other attorneys on the other side,' Brewer said.
AG Horne said this arrangement will allow one of his deputies to continue to provide legal advice to Humble even as he personally pursues a court order declaring the dispensaries preempted by federal law.
As many may remember, Governor Brewer initially tried to halt the medical marijuana program. "I took it to court and I was ruled against, (with a judge) saying that I had to implement the law,” Brewer recalled Thursday ."So we moved forward under the direction of the court.”
But the governor said Horne and Montgomery remain free to try to shut down the dispensaries anyway.
"If they believe they have a reason to think they can get that overturned, they have that right and privilege to do that,” Brewer said. "But in the meantime we have and will continue to move forward until we hear differently.”
In other words, the battle over medical marijuana in AZ is far from over.
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