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City Councilman: If We Can't Really Regulate Medical Marijuana, Let's Just Ban All Those Businesses in L.A.

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Los Angeles has an ordinance that allows some medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the city. However, today Councilman Jose Huizar will announce he plans to join with community activists and seek a full ban on the businesses, because a recent court decision will create severe limitations on how the City of Los Angeles can "effectively regulate" those medical marijuana operations.

That court decision is Pack v. City of Long Beach, in which "the court held that the Long Beach licensing law was invalid insofar as it positively permitted activities that conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act," according to California NORML, a site that covers the state's marijuana laws. Essentially, the finding in favor of the plaintiff--a collective owner who was denied a license under Long Beach's lottery system--was that the City could not feasibly regulate marijuana because it is a federally banned substance.

Consequently, key provisions of Long Beach's medical marijuana ordinance were struck down, and under the ruling, which pertains to L.A. County, "Los Angeles would not be able to hold a lottery to select collectives operating under its ordinance, could not cap the number of dispensaries at 100, or limit the distance dispensaries can be from one another, effectively opening the door for thousands of new marijuana businesses throughout the City," explains Huizar's office.

Recently, federal agencies have begun to crackdown on California's pot businesses. Some cities in L.A. County, like Glendale, already have banned medical marijuana dispensaries.

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Huizar is expected to hold a press event today at 9:30 a.m. to announce he is seeking a complete ban on medical marijuana businesses in the City of L.A.