Today California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1300, which could effectively give California cities and local governments the power to restrict or even ban the dispensing of medical marijuana, which is legal in California.
Existing California law permits the use of medical marijuana for a wide range of medical conditions, with a doctor’s recommendation. The California law also requires medical marijuana to be cultivated through “collective” organizations.
Experience in Los Angeles Could Translate to Rest of California
In early 2010, however, the Los Angeles City Council passed, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed, an ordinance curtailing the distribution of medical marijuana. In addition to establishing a moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries and cracking down on existing dispensaries that had not received formal certification, the Los Angeles ordinance required that:
- collectives will only be permitted to provide medical marijuana to members who “participate in the collective cultivation of marijuana at or upon the location of that collective.”
- no dispensary will be permitted to operate within 1,000 feet of a school, public park, public library, religious institution, licensed child care facility, youth center, substance abuse rehabilitation center, or another medical marijuana collective.
- dispensaries will not be permitted to operate between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m.
- marijuana collectives must be run as not-for-profit entities, and can only accept compensation to cover the expenses of growing, cultivating, and providing medical marijuana
These requirements led to shutdown orders for hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles. Some of the dispensaries filed lawsuits against the City of Los Angeles, challenging their shutdown orders.
AB 1300 gives Los Angeles and other California cities and local governments even more powers to “regulate the location, operation, or establishment of a medical marijuana cooperative or collective.” This law could therefore further reduce the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, either by causing more shutdown orders, making it next to impossible to start a new medical marijuana collective due to extremely strict zoning requirements, or both. Accordingly, it would not be surprising to see more lawsuits and further legal action take place regarding medical marijuana in California.
[Note: links not in bold were added by joltleft.com, not by the author.]
© 2011 Matthew Emmer — All Rights Reserved
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