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Patient Care Alliance To Sue Los Angeles Over Dispensary Ban


It did not take long for activists to fight back against the recent ban on medical marijuana dispensaries by the City of Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles City Council made a very controversial decision to ban all of its medical marijuana collectives.  A decision so controversial, it may even be illegal when considering the recent ruling of California’s 2nd District of Appeals Court which said cities do not have the right to ban marijuana dispensaries.

Many analysts wondered exactly why the city when forward with the ban as many lawsuits were expected, especially as it seems activists have the upper hand legally. mentioned yesterday that letters were sent to marijuana dispensaries informing them that they have until September 6th to shut down, or face a fine of $2,500 per everyday they remain open.  We now have learned that the September 6th forced closure date may be in jeopardy.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the trade group named “Patient Care Alliance”, which represents 300 area dispensaries has filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles over the upcoming dispensary closures.  Marc O’Hara who is in charge of the group called the ban “heartless”.  The city of Los Angeles is also likely to have another legal headache as GLACA (The Greater Los Angeles Collectives Alliance) and ASA (Americans for Safe Access) are working on a ballot initiative to overturn the ban.  They have already began to collect signatures and if they are successful residents of Los Angeles may vote to repeal the ban.

Critics of the ban are concerned that patients will no longer have access to safe medicine and may even have to turn to illegal methods of obtaining cannabis.  The City Council claims that patients have not been left out in the cold because they are still allowed to grow their own cannabis and distribute it within groups of three.  This proposal seems unenforceable (how exactly will law enforcement prove patients are operating within their groups?) and seems to carry the potential for organized crime to regain their stronghold on the Los Angeles marijuana market.  However, growing quality and safe marijuana that is free of pesticides, mold, and other harmful agents can take years of practice, something many patients are unable to do.  Additionally there is considerable cost associated with starting a grow operation from scratch.  The need for safe access to medication is important, especially for a city that has had legalized medical marijuana for 16 years.  Check back with us soon as well will keep an eye on any new developments pertaining to the September 6th closures.

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