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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Banned in L.A.?

It seems like every day there’s a new city ordinance or ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, and it’s hard to keep up. We’d really like to see some solidarity on how the state deals with this issue. Understandably, a lot of the confusion comes from the federal ban versus the state’s Prop 215, which allows the growth and consumption of medical marijuana by patients, but that doesn’t mean that the state can’t set out some guidelines to help organize this contentious issue.

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar contends that clarification on the medical marijuana dispensary issue and the city’s right to regulate the businesses needs to come from the state Supreme Court, and we agree. Without guidelines from the top of the chain, cities are going to argue the finer points ad infinitum (and probably ad nauseum) and the issue will never be resolved, keeping both the dispensaries and the patients in a legal limbo.

“Our neighborhoods continue to complain daily about the disruption and public safety issues presented by medical marijuana businesses operating in the city,” Huizar’s motion states. We wish we had more information as to what they term as “disruption” and “public safety issues”, but that’s all that was reported.

There is support on both sides of the coin here, where regulation could make a real difference. Yes, there are people out there using this state ruling to make money and sell marijuana to those without a true medical need — but show us any legal system where there aren’t those who milk the system. Yes, there should be guidelines on not having medical marijuana near schools and playgrounds to pacify those who feel they are akin to the opium dens of yore, although we contend that by creating standardized regulations and showing the dispensaries’ benefit to the communities, they will lose their negative status. We hope that in the not-too-distant future, the dispensaries will seem like nothing more than another CVS or RiteAid. (Besides, the people trying to protect their children do realize that more of them will get into trouble with prescription drugs, not the drugs from the street….we hope they realize that, anyway.)

We are happy to see that Huizar is not dismissing the issue the way that City Council members Bernard Parks and Jan Perry did last month, when they proposed phasing out the ordinance altogether. Hmmm, why not turn all of those patients into “criminals” by forcing them to get marijuana illegally? That’s not a solution, it’s sticking your head in the sand. This issue is here to stay.

If you have a medical marijuana dispensary or collective in the Southern California area and need representation, please contact us immediately. We are known as the top medical marijuana attorneys in the state, and are first and foremost an advocate for change and will represent each and every client charged with a marijuana or other drug offense with the most zealous defense.

Please call us call the Law Offices of Glew & Kim immediately on 714-713-4525, or use our online form for a Free Case Analysis. We believe in equal access to justice for all.

This is not an attorney-client communication, and as such no advice is being offered in this article. Any and all communications related to the Glew & Kim Law website should be deemed and considered advertisement. This article is purely opinion, and the basis of this and any opinion was formed subject to the reporting by the actual news agencies, the information from which was used as source material.