L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa Urges Limit on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


November 25, 2009 – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa urged the City Council on Wednesday toadopt a medical marijuana ordinance that would put a limit on the number of dispensaries.

“We have a right as a city to cap the number,” he said, saying that a cap was “without question” needed to reduce the number to a level that the Police Department and city officials can adequately monitor. “Communities have a right to protect the character of those communities and the security of those neighborhoods.”

The mayor declined to say what he thought the cap should be. “I can tell you that the current number of 800, or whatever, 900, is way beyond what any city should be able to accept,” he said.

The council, which debated its draft ordinance Tuesday, instructed city officials to study a citywide cap between 70 and 200 dispensaries, and separate caps, set by population, for each of the city’s 35 community plan areas or 21 police divisions.

A number of cities have caps, but most of them are much smaller than Los Angeles. Oakland, the largest city to impose a cap, allows four.

Villaraigosa, who has to approve the ordinance, said the council needs to write one that does not allow dispensaries to sell marijuana in a way that violates state law.

Council members decided Tuesday not to ban medical marijuana sales, disregarding the advice of the city attorney and the Los Angeles County district attorney, who believe the law makes any sales illegal.

Instead, the council adopted a provision that allows cash contributions for marijuana, which was a compromise that members believe will allow sales to continue and the city attorney’s top aides said would not run counter to state law.

Villaraigosa said he had not reviewed the provision. “I’ve been dealing with a bunch of other things all day long,” he said in a short interview outside his City Hall office.

Although there is debate about whether the law allows sales, the law is clear that dispensaries cannot make a profit. Villaraigosa said he believed many in the city were violating the requirement.

“People are trying to drive a truck through loopholes, and when you have that number it makes it very difficult for us,” he said.

john.hoeffel@latimes.com


2 responses to “L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa Urges Limit on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries”

  1. He was doing other stuff all along? Yeeeah, he’s trying to sidestep the fact that he completely fumbled the ball. I can see Cooley has been talking to the Mayor and feeding his poison. Yich. A bunch of weak men running Los Angeles.

    It’s 13 years after the law was written saying it is non-profit. By now, with evolution, and what the public wants…they should be allowed a profit.

  2. Well run dispensaries should be allowed to open anywhere.
    Why is there no cap on Pharmacies – this is a generation gap, obviously. Mayor, this is a medicinal plant…it’s not a liquor store.

    It is obvious you still don’t get it. I have never seen ONE dispensary messy or people hanging around. There may be a few rouge dispensaries out there, but for the most part, they are well run and respectful to neighborhoods. Who isn’t respectful is Cooley, Trutanich, the DEA and FBI ganging up together doing ridiculous overkill raiding, like a small dispensary down the street from my house in Marina Del Rey. Bout 20 feds dressed in riot gear rushed in and busted a nice guy named Jeff, AND SHOT HIS DOG. That is very alarming and unacceptable.

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