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Signatures Submitted to Put Pot Shop Ballot Measure on May City Ballot

Proposed initiative would regulate locations of medical marijuana dispensaries and put a city tax on sales.

A group of medical marijuana advocates on Friday submitted more than 73,500 petition signatures to qualify a ballot measure that would allow pot dispensaries to operate in Los Angeles under specific conditions.

The proposed ballot measure would allow storefront medical cannabis collectives that are at least 500 to 1,000 feet from schools, parks, libraries, child care centers and religious institutions. If approved, the measure would also impose a business tax of $60 on every $1,000 of marijuana sold at the dispensaries.

The initiative is backed by a group called Angelenos for Safe Access, a coalition of medical marijuana collectives and patients. They hope to get the measure on the May 21 citywide general election ballot. The group needs 41,138 valid signatures to qualify.

"The city needs a sensible strategy for regulating marijuana that won't allow for the unregulated proliferation of dispensaries across the city," said Steven Afriat, a registered lobbyist and spokesman for Angelenos for Safe Access. "This initiative protects our neighborhoods, puts bad operators out of business and raises millions of dollars annually for the city's General Fund.''

A separate group has submitted petition signatures for a medical marijuana initiative that would allow a select group of slightly more than 100 dispensaries that were in operation prior to Sept. 14, 2007, when the city attempted to place a moratorium on new pot shops, to reopen. The competing plan is backed by the Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods, comprised of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance and Americans for Safe Access-LA.

City officials have struggled for years to come up with a legal way to limit the number of medical marijuana dispensaries; however, the city has been stymied at every turn by lawsuits and conflicting court opinions.

In July, the Los Angeles City Council opted to ban dispensaries until ongoing court cases or revised state law provide clarity on how the city can legally regulate dispensaries. A referendum that would have overturned the ban qualified for the March ballot, and council members repealed the ban in October, leaving dispensaries completely unregulated.

The City Council is now studying a so-called "limited immunity'' law similar to the Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods' measure. The plan aims to reduce the number of dispensaries to those that were operating prior to the 2007 effort to halt the proliferation of pot shops and to place tight restrictions on them.

betsy Joy Green December 22, 2012 at 01:09 PM
They pot sales should be in Pharmacy's only. Wth a registered pharmacist attending sales. They have the education anf knowledge of drugs with six years of training.
NRA Supporter December 22, 2012 at 02:16 PM
This city is going to pot.
Elliot S! Maggin December 22, 2012 at 08:34 PM
The people of this state voted to make marijuana legal, regulated and taxed. Having failed to determine a way to regulate and tax it effectively, Los Angeles public officials have resorted to attemptimg to render it illegal. This is unacceptable, and I was even tempted to get myself a prescription for the stuff so I could join a class action suit against the City Council. Absent the Council's assumption of responsibility, we are left to render another plebiscite - always an approximate and slapdash means of making public policy. As far as I can determine, the only interests these public officials are serving are those of illegal marijuana distributors and nineteenth-century cotton growers. The City Council needs to set aside its personal prejudices, imaginary political consequences and possibly the hallucinations born of their own misspent youth, and take responsibility for administering the laws of this communiity.
Anonymous Nimby Crank December 23, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Which MMD's have the city council actually had a hand in closing down?
Frank Mihelcic December 23, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Betsy Joy Green I fully agree with you. Medical marijuana is a prescription drug and should be distributed the same as other precription drugs.
Frank Mihelcic December 23, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Elliot, just for the sake of clearity would you get your state facts correct. Incorrect grand standing is a waste of time.
Jheri Heetland December 23, 2012 at 04:17 AM
I firmly believe that it should be controlled by pharmaceutical distributors. To many people abuse the system.
The Great OZ December 23, 2012 at 05:36 AM
All drugs should be legalized.
Nelson R Grande II December 24, 2012 at 01:47 AM
As I have been told by numerous folks, Mr. Jose Huizar invited the Feds to come crack down in his District; which is why Eagle Rock was specifically targeted by the DEA while the rest of the City still has open Dispensaries.
Anonymous Nimby Crank December 24, 2012 at 05:06 PM
After following and being directly effected by this issue over the last four years, I can truthfully say no one is more to thank, or blame, depending on how you look at it, than you, Nelson Grande. The ERNC had been trying for years to get the MMD's under control but once you entered the fray and exploited a loophole in the ERNC voting laws and contacted Local 770 to try and win the election disingenuously and STILL LOST, I believe this showed the council member, that the ER residents did not want MMD's in their neighborhood. As a representative of our neighborhood, I would say he was just doing what he could to resolve an issue that needed to be resolved based on the will of his constituents. Now go ahead and say I'm and anonymous poster and my opinion is nil, but people can still read and make their own opinions, regardless of the author.
Alex White December 24, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Need weed? North Hollywood/Sun Valley, easily 50 MMD that I've seen. Even my favorite donut shop on Roscoe near Laurel Canyon closed down, converted to a MMD-- this during the strict “Hiccup Huizar,” Carrie Nation Morality Mob mandated Eagle Rock-- “Operation Prohibition Weedpatch”-- DEA enforcement and the attempted “total failure” citywide ban. Find the Green Cross. This past Saturday I saw a congregation outside the MMD on Laurel Canyon, south of Saticoy, across from a MMD on the east side of the street. Didn't stop to chat. They appeared to be playing grab-cash. Eastern European swarthy by appearance; gleaming BMW’s stacked in front. "Business be good, my friend." A police cruiser sailed by right in front of me. Didn't even whelp the siren. It was all very “Russian-bloc casual,” very adult and capitalistic. I thought I heard this refrain-- “We don't need no stinking pharmacy, comrades!” I could be wrong. MMD located in warehouse, industrial, manufacturing areas where they “Swap Meet” it might be viable. The "castigated" clientele can peruse the merchandise without offending anyone’s civic, moral, religious, or other “personal” sensibilities. The prices will stay competitive because of the close proximity supply & demand competition factor. It will be just like when I buy my pre-mixed moles at El Mercado in Boyle Heights. They can only ask for so much because another mole is just a few feet away. Viva LA! Cultural diversity is grand.
Loreen Barton McCord December 24, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Wow, all CA. has to do to is follow the guidelines of a healing, making JOBS, & successful state, CO. Look at what they have done, jobs for electrician, plumbers, taken property that businesses move out of & now rent is coming in, health care, the list is endless. Looks like a no brainer...but Gov. Brown is too busy bringing up sales tax, like that is going to work?
Loreen Barton McCord December 24, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Not all, come on just those words makes the rest of the world sound like Morons..
Tim Ryder December 24, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Cannabis Prohibition is over. The question we are contemplating now is how we can get a commodity, which has flourished in the shadows of the underground economy for 50 years, incorporated back into our regulated economy. In a 'free' society where 'free' markets and 'free' enterprise operate, the best strategy will be one based on the law of Supply and Demand if we really want to end the violent Black market activity. Though some may still harbor an irrational fear of the cannabis plant, the majority now have woken up and appear much more 'practical' on the issue, opting for Regulation instead of Prohibition and Taxation instead of Tyranny.
Nelson R Grande II December 25, 2012 at 12:19 AM
I wouldn't argue that the election was the catalyst to all of this. I couldn't be happier. The ERNC Election was no loss. It connected many well-meaning, like-minded folks and showed all of Eagle Rock the unfortunate knee-jerk reaction that is still present in today's politics. While I'm talking about opening up a collective dialogue in order to find mutual understanding, they're putting up obstacles for Eagle Rock's true patrons on a technicality, virtually forcing the factual-basis method. It's less Community Representation and more Community Manipulation. From casting the first stone, to manipulative handouts, to pulling shotguns, this election had the current admin playing rough. It successfully painted a villain where there is none. Many saw this and chose to help in any way they could. I always accepted help from those who showed interest in having open dialogue. Ultimately, Elliot is correct in stating that this is a matter for the Council (namely Huizar) from which to remove personal convictions/prejudices. He refused to lead his community to resolution. Instead, he invited strong-arming from the Federal Government to stifle constructive dialogue. There was never a 'takeover' and this did not "resolve the issue". This forced it.
Anonymous Nimby Crank December 25, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Whatever all that political correct mumbo jumbo nonsense you just spouted off means, is a mystery. That fact is they are gone, and to much delight of many Eagle Rock residents. Also, I would say Huizar lead his community to resolution, not just the resolution you were hoping for, he actually got something done, a lot more than I can say for many politicians. And as a side note, allowing factual based stakeholders to vote in a neighborhood election is like allowing international tourists to vote in a U.S. Presidential election. They spent money in the US they should have a say in our politics, right? Nonsense.
Nelson R Grande II December 25, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Dismissing it as "political mumbo jumbo" will leave you unprepared as folks are paying more and more attention to how forceful Jose et al have been toward folks just wanting to open a dialogue. Folks are now more connected than ever. They are looking beyond the scare tactics and are looking more toward sensibility and mutual understanding. Speaking directly on Cannabis, there are two states that have voted to legalize, there are two more who are on the path, 17 have Medical Marijuana, and many more are following suit. The world is coming to terms with the fact that Cannabis is not the demon herb that they once thought. It's time to stop the gloating and start working with future potential. No one in Eagle Rock has to "go somewhere else to get it." Closing the stores didn't eradicate Cannabis from Eagle Rock, it just helped redistribute it onto the street/roads. Cannabis is not going away. It would be most productive to work with it instead of fighting it. Creating obstacles, like forcing the factual-basis because of a technicality is counterproductive and men like Jose will do well to seriously consider this.
Nelson R Grande II December 25, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Have a Happy Holiday. I'm sure we'll chat again. :)
Card Shark December 25, 2012 at 03:57 AM
All Drugs should be legalized and taxed. It will be the end of organized crime and stop government funded wars.
Anonymous Nimby Crank December 25, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Nelson- Here is a direct question, dialogue. Where do you think MMD's should be located in relationship to residential neighborhoods?
Duff Strong January 05, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Haha! He knows you were right, so he tries to dismiss it as "mumbo jumbo". Get Huizar, Larsen, and NOPEgera out of eagle rock! Btw do you have any copies of those 'manipulative handouts'? I'm sure I could make some use of them.
Anonymous Nimby Crank January 05, 2013 at 02:28 AM
@Duff- Since Nelson is the face of the Eagle Rock pro pot lobby wouldn't you like to know his position on MMD zoning? Maybe I shouldn't have said "Mumbo Jumbo" I don't believe his views are correct and flippantly blew him off, that was wrong, in the future ill save all flippant behavior for your posts. It is good to see you are still harping on Larsen, who hasn't made a post on here in months. Obsess Much??
Duff Strong January 09, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Larsen and NOPEgera are still part of the ERNC. It's not an obsession. It's an ongoing problem.
Anonymous Nimby Crank January 22, 2013 at 05:08 AM
@Nelson-Here on relevant page, as you wish re posting, Nelson- Here is a direct question, dialogue. Where do you think MMD's should be located in relationship to residential neighborhoods?

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