Two LA Committees Vote for Medical Marijuana

UPDATE: On November 18, after a four-hour session, the full City Council declined to introduce the ordinance without amendments that would allow sales. The proposed regulations are expected to be presented next week for a vote by the full council.

All of the amending motions to the 5th draft ordinance regulating medical
marijuana collectives in Los Angeles that were presented are posted online at -
http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrec...

Also the agenda for next Tuesday's city council meeting (11/24) has been released,
the medical marijuana ordinance is item #10. See -
http://ens.lacity.org/clk/councilagendas/clkcouncilagendas363681_1124200...

November 17 - Two Los Angeles City Council committees rejected the advice of the city attorney and voted Monday to approve an ordinance that allows marijuana dispensaries to continue selling marijuana to people with a doctor's recommendation.

The four-hour hearing had to be moved to larger chambers after nearly 400 people showed up and about 70 spoke, according to the Los Angeles Times. Most were advocates for medical marijuana access; a few neighborhood activists spoke about crime concerns.

The planning and Public Safety committees sent the draft ordinance to the full council, which is likely to consider it Wednesday.

Americans for Safe Access and the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients threatened to sue the city if the council bans sales. Neighborhood groups also threatened to sue.

Several council members pointed out that West Hollywood has an ordinance that allows sales, as an article in the LA Times that morning pointed out.

Astute observer Mike Gray quoted Chicago newsman Mike Royko after attending the hearing: "It's surpising how well politicians can behave when we're watching." Cautionary voice and NORML volunteer Brett Stone anticipates much more work on the ordinance before it's acceptable, and worries that the current version will pass after its reading tomorrow.

Hear an audio archive of the meeting

Also see: Medical Marijuana Goes Retail: You Can Tax Itby Jacob Goldstein, Wall Street Journal