feelinghellastabby asked: What are your thoughts on the LA City Council voting to ban medical marijuana dispensaries?
I was actually just reading about this. I’m an LA resident so I have lots of thoughts. Background: Yesterday the LA city council voted to close every single medical marijuana dispensary in the city. They will still allow people to grow their own marijuana and have “collectives” of three people or less.
Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, but cities are struggling with how to regulate dispensaries. The issue is that people think they attract crime. (In reality, dispensaries often hire a private security guard to patrol the area, which actually makes surrounding businesses safer. At the very least, recent studies have proved that dispensaries don’t attract more crime.) People who live nearby don’t like seeing/smelling people who buy marijuana and then smoke it in their car or behind a building, which I understand.
City council members have *said* they’re going to make another law that will allow around 175 of the dispensaries to remain open — specifically, the ones who opened up shop before 2007.
My thoughts? It’s a terrible decision. I think it will negatively impact people who legitimately use marijuana to treat medical conditions, particularly LA’s HIV+ community. There will still be dispensaries in the surrounding cities, like Long Beach and West Hollywood, so LA patients who are mobile will just have to travel further. But people who can’t drive will, what, have to take a bus to Orange County to buy weed so they can eat and sleep? Some dispensaries deliver, but it’s often a lot more expensive. The decision doesn’t seem to factor in disabled people.
People who smoke marijuana recreationally probably know how to get it, either from someone who grows or someone who deals. So this could lead to more money flowing to gangs and drug cartels. It’s nice that the decision allows people to grow their own marijuana, but it’s not cheap to get that set up, and growing anything indoors requires certain knowledge and care and attention.
I think they should regulate the dispensaries better. This is the guns argument, right? If people can’t get it legally, they’ll get it illegally. Since I’m a reasonable person, I’m OK with more regulations. Prohibit patients from smoking in the immediate vicinity of dispensaries. Ask dispensaries to close earlier so people aren’t hanging out in the parking lot late at night (some are open until 2 AM). Encourage dispensaries to ask their patients to respect the neighbors, like bars do. Allow dispensaries to set up rooms where patients can smoke indoors
I just wish the council had been more flexible about this. I think they’ll revisit the decision, and I hope they at the very least allow the 175 pre-2007 shops to reopen.
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- kaiser553 said: Dispensaries don’t allow you to smoke nearby. Every one I’ve been to has had signs asking patrons not to smoke there or within a radius of X feet. Must be part of the regulation that was already in place?
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- teaandcrumpets said: Can you make this rebloggable? Thx!
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- feelinghellastabby said: Thanks, Jess! I wasn’t sure if it applied to just the city alone, or the county in general. I think they handled this very poorly, and actually know a few people who will be losing their jobs if/when they close. One of whom is a security guard.
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- chiquorinha said: Great response. :)
- misanthropiczombie said: what happens to the dispensaries that came along after ‘07? too bad so sad? They lose jobs, businesses for this with no recompense?
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