Petition Has Enough Signatures to Force Referendum on Pot Shop Ban

The City Clerk announced Monday that marijuana advocates have submitted the required number of signatures to overturn the city’s “gentle ban” ordinance.

A petition by medical marijuana advocates aimed at repealing the Los Angeles City Council’s ban on marijuana storefronts has enough signatures to force a referendum on the ordinance, the City Clerk announced Monday.

The City Council now has the option of either repealing the ban, calling a special election within the next 110 to 140 days or putting the issue on the March 5 city election ballot.

The ban had been scheduled to take effect Sept. 6, but it was put on hold when the group of activists submitted about 50,000 petition signatures to the City Clerk's Office in hopes of forcing a vote on the issue.

Los Angeles City Clerk June Lagmay said in a statement that a random statistical sampling by her office found that 49,021 signatures were valid, well above the required 27,425.

According to the clerk's office, the City Council is expected to consider its next move sometime before Oct. 7.

The "gentle ban," crafted by Councilman José Huizar and supported by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, called for the closure of all medical marijuana storefronts in light of public complaints, as well as the lack of guidance by the state and the courts about how to regulate them. The ban still allowed patients to grow their own marijuana in groups of three or less individuals, as mandated by state law.

After the petition signatures were submitted, the city attorney's office posted a notice online indicating that it would not enforce the city's ban, but it also warned that "the business of medical marijuana continues to be an unpermitted land use in the city.''

Erykah Grande September 19, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Joyce, could you please email me. I have something to ask you. You seem to be pretty knowledgeable about the legalities of this issue and have seen your posts. You may be able to help me or point me in the right direction. That and you use your real name and it is unfortunately a tad more trusting than some good anonymous folks here. MissGuinness at Ymail dot com.
Duff Strong September 19, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I'm sure it has nothing to do with this comment board being devoid of Larsen, ERM, and the lot.
Ward Cleaver, Jr. September 19, 2012 at 07:51 PM
The City let this happen. No plans for years, they finally made a plan, then don't play fair & say ALL need to close? What about the 200 that are really 0k, w/permits, LiveScan, etc. huh, take out the new ones, like 2 that popped up on Ventura between Stansbury & Bev Glen, they were not there 6 months ago! Eliminate th enew ones & go backwards, make sense, yes, but our city counsel make no sense, just lots of money for themselves.......
Watts September 19, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Watts September 19, 2012 at 08:37 PM
I mentioned above that the main issue is getting marijuana out of being a Schedule I controlled substance. Somebody asked how and I just posted a reply far up thread, but here is a very informative wiki link that is a good place to start for anybody interested in the history and process: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Removal_of_cannabis_from_Schedule_I_of_the_Controlled_Substances_Act It is no small battle and has been going on for decades, but eventually it will happen. People just need to organize and push for it. I would say that a godo step in the right direction is to focus on something like this first, instead of the mess that medical marijuana has become or the attempts for legalization on a state level that would still be in contrast to federal law. State by state acceptance of medical marijuana certainly creates a more positive climate for getting marijuana rescheduled, but it almost seems like advocates are getting too caught up in worrying about local councils and dispensary wars (which has it's level of importance), when the real underlying issue of this being a schedule I drug will still be there no matter what the outcome of these local issues. Federal law won't be changed as long as this marijuana is Schedule I, so changing that is the first step to getting the feds off the backs of states and patients.


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