Los Angeles Gives Up on Intelligent Policy, Bans Medical Marijuana Storefront Dispensaries


After many months and likely thousands of man hours of thought and planning back in 2009-10, detailed in my May 2010 Reason cover story, over the issue of how to properly regulate the storefront distribution of medical marijuana (legal under state law), the Los Angeles City Council has today given in to a bunch of largely pointless complaints and decided to outright destroy hundreds of local businesses and complicate the lives of tens of thousands of medical marijuana users with a crummy vote today to ban the dispensaries.

Details from the L.A. Weekly (itself complicit in creating a phony panic over these harmless suppliers of a medical, and personal, need):

The council voted 13 to 1 to allow only nonprofit collectives of up to three people who want to grow and share pot for the medically ill behind closed doors…

The core of the ordinance says that medical marijuana "businesses" will be banned until a "regulatory scheme" can be realized by the city, ostensibly after various challenges to similar bans and other pot shop regulation schemes are decided by the California Supreme Court….

After a second vote next week the ban should go into effect within 90 days. Stock up, people.

J.D. Tuccille from June about how there is no apparent link between pot dispensaries and crime. Jacob Sullum from December 2011 on the beginning of this latest attempt to pointlessly rethink L.A. policy toward dispensaries.

Reason.tv classic from 2010 on the California growth industry in medical marijuana that both the feds and now the L.A. City Council are trying to stymie: