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Surprised? City Council Delays Vote on Pot Shops Ordinance

Photo by Katherine_hitt via Flickr
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The Los Angeles City Council has once again opted to postpone a vote on a proposed action to curb the influx of medical marijuana clinics around town, reports the LA Weekly. In a meeting described as "raucous," the city's Planning Department showed "hurriedly created maps showing that only five of 137 pot shops envisioned under a City Council cap could remain at their current locations if the city adopts a buffer zone to keep them at least 500 feet from schools, youth centers, libraries, religious institutions and residential properties."The presentation brought about a strong reaction from those present, including "pro-medical marijuana advocates who booed many of the details presented by city planner Alan Bell." This map was apparently the first the Council had seen that actually indicated where permitted shops would be or not be if they adopted the "buffer zone" policy they have in mind.

The Weekly notes that the meeting also brought to light clearly "which council members were in favor of pot shops and which members were not," in reference to Bill Rosendahl's advocacy of the drug's medicinal value due to his own late lover's use of it, and Eric Garcetti's argument in favor of giving "special consideration" to the shops opened before the current moratorium was put in place. In contrast, Richard Alarcon was booed for his anti-pot shop comments, and Greig Smith "noted that pot shops have become crime magnets yet the City Council is being shown zoning maps instead of maps from the Los Angeles Police Department showing the crime hot spots."

The City Council is due to take the issue up again January 13th.