By Robert Capecchi
The astute readers of the MPP blog no doubt recall the Los Angeles City Council’s terrible decision to ban medical marijuana dispensaries back in July. Unfortunately, the council didn’t stop there. They then made the decision to circumvent California law by asking the LAPD to work with the Drug Enforcement Agency to shut down dispensaries that were based in L.A. After the ban was passed – and while the council was busy making fast friends with the DEA – activists were busy gathering the necessary signatures to place a referendum on a ballot to repeal this ban. The activists succeeded, meaning the council had two options: repeal the ban themselves or put the referendum on a special election or the March mayoral ballot allowing the residents of Los Angeles to have the final say.
Today the council – joined once again by Councilmember Bill Rosendahl who returned to council duties after going through chemotherapy – held their vote on whether or not the previously enacted ban would stand. In a move that surprised me, the council preliminarily voted to repeal the ban by an 11 – 2 vote. The council will have to take a second vote on repealing the ban next week. If eight of the 11 “yes” votes hold steady, the ban will be repealed.
The council also took up a proposal to urge state lawmakers in Sacramento to pass sensible regulations that would allow medical marijuana patients to safely and immediately obtain their medicine while preventing diversion and unsavory business practices. This entirely reasonable request of Sacramento passed easily: 13 – 0.
MPP is incredibly grateful for all the good and hard work put in by local activists who gathered the necessary signatures to force the repeal vote. This would never have happened without their commitment to safe access.
Published with special permission from the Marijuana Policy Project