With L.A. Crackdown, Medical Marijuana Pendulum Swings Back

February 6, 2010 – Over the past few years, hundreds of loosely regulated medical NA-BC105_LAPOT.JPG_Dmarijuana dispensaries cropped up in Los Angeles. It got to the point where even some backers of medical marijuana in New Jersey saw California’s experience as a cautionary tale, and promised that their law would be more restrictive.

Now, even in L.A., the pendulum is swinging back toward a less permissive system. The city council passed an ordinance yesterday that caps the number of marijuana dispensaries at 70, and limits where the shops can be set up — though roughly 150 existing dispensaries that registered with the city clerk before 2007 are likely to be allowed to stay open under an exemption in the ordinance, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Even with that exemption, the number of shops could fall significantly under the ordinance — there somewhere between 800 and 1,000 in L.A. now, the Associated Press says.

Legal challenges from dispensary owners are likely. “I don’t want to say this is an impossible task, but it’s going to take a lot more effort than maybe the city realizes at this point,” a law professor told the AP. “Just because the city says, ’stop what you are doing,’ doesn’t mean [dispensary owners] are going to give up easily.” Source

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