Thursday, November 12, 2009

LA City Council to Vote on Pot Zoning Laws on Monday

Airing of L.A. pot ordinance set for Monday

Daily News Wire Services
Updated: 11/11/2009 07:18:19 AM PST

An ordinance aimed at regulating medical marijuana in Los Angeles will
be discussed Monday at a joint session of the City Council's Public
Safety and Planning and Land Use committees.

Medical marijuana collectives would be allowed to grow pot only for
members with serious illnesses under the proposal ordinance, which limit
inventories to five pounds of dried pot or 100 plants at any given time.

The city defines a collective as a groups of qualified patients, their
primary caregivers and people whom they authorize to cultivate marijuana
for them.

Councilman Ed Reyes said the idea of limiting inventories and how many
plants can be grown was sure to be the subject of debate.

"My primary concern is making sure we allow enough flexibility so that
people who are sick have access, that we do not create an environment
where the only function of the ordinance will be to eradicate them all,"
Reyes said.

"I don't think that's fair or humane to people who are really sick who
really need it," he added.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and District Attorney Steve Cooley have
said that most of the 1,000 or so pot shops around Los Angeles County
are out of step with state law. Attorney General Jerry Brown has said
that medical marijuana outlets are supposed to operate as nonprofit
groups, but few do.

Voters legalized medical marijuana when they approved Proposition 215 in
1996, but there has been little agreement about regulating outlets.
Initially, only individuals were allowed to grow the stuff, but the law
was amended in 2003 to allow collectives to grow plants.

Chief Deputy City Attorney William Carter said the City Attorney's
office, which drafted the proposed ordinance, is willing to make
adjustments if necessary.

"Our office is and will continue to work very closely with the council
members in both committees as well as the full City Council on drafting
an ordinance that complies with California law and that meets the
requirements of this city," Carter said.

The proposed ordinance was submitted to the Public Safety Committee a
day after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that the city's
extended moratorium on new medical marijuana outlets was invalid.

Under the proposed ordinance:

-- over-the-counter sales of medical marijuana would be outlawed;

-- anyone convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude within the
past 10 years, or who is on parole or probation for the sale of
distribution of a controlled substance, would be forbidden from managing
a collective or handling its finances;

-- medical marijuana outlets would have to be inspected by the
Department of Building and Safety, register with the Office of Finance,
and provide information about their members to their City Council
representative and their Neighborhood Council;

-- any pot grown by a collective would have to be grown in accordance
with the health and safety code;

-- collectives would have to be at least 1,000 feet from other
collectives, schools, playgrounds, child care facilities, religious
institutions, public libraries, public parks, hospitals and rehab

-- all collectives would have to have video security and barred windows;

-- and operating hours would be limited to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The proposed permanent ordinance states that outlets that began
operating before Sept. 14, 2007, and registered with the City Clerk's
Office before Nov. 12, 2007 would be given 180 days to comply with the

Any outlets that opened after Sept. 14, 2007 would have to comply with
the rules immediately.

http://www.dailynew ci_13757328

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