Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban in L.A. Closer to Reality

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A pedestrian walks by a dispensary in Sherman Oaks (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A full ban of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the City of Los Angeles is one step closer to happening today after the City Council Public Safety Committee forwarded a draft ordinance prepared by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's office to the full City Council, reports City News Service.

The proposed law would put dispensaries out of business, but would still allow primary caregivers to dispense medical marijuana and licensed patients to grow their own supply.

Additionally, the draft of the ordinance will have to be checked out by the Planning Commission so they, too, can go on record with their relevant recommendations.

Trutanich admits that marijuana has a role in the medical community for certain patients: "There are people in the City of Los Angeles that truly need marijuana as a medicine, not to get high, not to make money, but to get well,'' he told the committee.

The proposed ban is in part the result of a ruling in Long Beach, in which a judge found that the city could not actually enforce laws governing a matter that is overseen by the federal government, and therefore had no right to authorize dispensary businesses within the city. That ruling is expected to affect other cities within Los Angeles County, though the case could be appealed. The California Supreme Court will reveal early next month if they will hear such an appeal.

In the meantime, dispensaries as we know them in L.A. are closer to being outlawed.