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Long Beach Passes Tweaked Medical Marijuana Ordinance

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Photo by mares8 via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
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L.A. County's second largest city last night passed a medical marijuana ordinance that, like with Los Angeles, is steeped in controversy. The city council had previously approved an ordinance, but last night's vote enlarged buffer zones around schools and forces collectives to grow within city limits, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Growing within city limits is intended to keep illegal growers and drug cartels out of the city, noted LBPost.com. Medical marijuana advocates said that the regulation would be infeasible and would increase the risk of theft and crime.

The previous ordinance limited collectives within 1,500 feet of high schools and 500 feet of other schools. The new ordinance limits them from 1,000 feet of other schools at the request of the Long Beach Unified School District, which wants to maintain 1,000 feet buffer drug free zones.

Last night's vote nearly split the council with five voting in favor and four against. Ordinances must be heard and voted on twice and it is likely to go forth to council next week.