The city of Los Angeles has put themselves in yet another controversial spot after announcing that they plan to ban some 900 marijuana dispensaries due to certain neighbors feeling that their community was being overrun with pot-smoking hoodlums. It’s a move that, understandably, leaves some residents outraged, especially those with medical needs.
Unable to control the growth of these shops, the Los Angeles City Council decided to ban them altogether at a city meeting last night with a 14-0 vote. The ban is due to go into effect in 30 days, meaning, most of these dispensaries will be out of business and most of the city residents who depend on them for medical needs will once again be forced to get their pot illegally on the streets or be forced to suffer in pain from their condition.
You may remember that Los Angeles tried this ban once before–and failed. It ended up producing a slew of lawsuits and conflicting rulings by appellate courts so the city officials walked away with their anti-pot-smoking-heads hung low. This time, however, they are more prepared to deal with the dangerous onslaught of tokers. The city feels they have a stronger case if faced with lawsuits by pot shop owners (which they will) because a recent appellate court ruling seems to support the ban of a marijuana collective as three or fewer people.
So there you have it. Medical patients are screwed. Although, some hospices and home health agencies will reportedly continue to provide medical pot, that’s not good enough. What about patients who are not in hospice or working with a home health agency? What about patients with cancer or multiple sclerosis, AIDS, epilepsy or any other chronic pain? Shouldn’t they be have the right to choose if they want or need marijuana to help ease their pain without having to go underground to get it?
Here’s an idea: How about leaving this between a patient and his doctor and dispensing medical marijuana at legitimate pharmacies along with every other drug out there? That way, patients could still get their pot legally and with dignity, and area neighbors would not have to worry about pot shops infringing on Melrose Ave.?
Now there is still hope. California’s highest court could step in and overturn this ruling, but that seems unlikely according to the city’s attorney.
So tell us what you think. Is this ban fair?