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LA city attorney seeks 'gentle ban' on marijuana

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POSTED January 13, 2012 8:53 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles city attorney asked the city council on Friday to implement a "gentle ban" on marijuana that would shutter dispensaries but allow patients and caregivers to grow it.

Carmen Trutanich told city leaders the current ordinance regulating pot dispensaries should be revoked, according to The Los Angeles Times. He proposed in its place that the city would not prosecute patients or caregivers who grow marijuana, as long as there's no middle man and no money changing hands.

The request came after an October court decision that found Long Beach violated federal law by sanctioning the distribution of an illegal drug. The city has an ordinance similar to Los Angeles'.

Long Beach has appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court.

The court ruling limits what municipalities can do to control dispensaries, said Jane Usher, a special assistant city attorney.

"They left very, very little for cities to lawfully do," Usher said.

Considering there are more than 60 legal challenges against the city's ordinance, it's only a matter of time before Los Angeles sees a ruling similar to the one against Long Beach, said Usher.

Trutanich's proposal goes to the Planning and Land Use Management Committee before it will be considered by the full council.

Medical marijuana advocate Sarah Armstrong said hundreds of rogue dispensaries have given a bad rap to older, more reputable operations. Armstrong said Trutanich's move was politically inspired because he is considering a run for county district attorney.

 

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