Arguments Made to Ban Medical Marijuana

Arguments for a bill that would ban medical marijuana establishments in Los Angeles will be heard by L.A. city council this week.

Proponents of the prohibition are hoping they fare better than their counterparts in Long Beach, where a similar ordinance was recently struck down as unconstitutional.

While the Supreme Court has agreed to review Long Beach’s ordinance, that decision could take 6 months to two years, said Councilman Jose Huizar.

"The best thing right now for the city of Los Angeles to say is, 'There’s no more medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Let’s wait to see what the California Supreme Court says, and then formulate a new ordinance,'" he said.

Huizar cited young people’s ease of access and a proliferating market as reasons why he would like to see pot shops get the boot from the city.

Rather than allow storefront dispensaries, Huizar suggested patients or their caregivers harvest their medication from the six mature marijuana plants state law allows residents to have.

"I support the use of medical marijuana, I think it has medical value when used by patients who need it," he said. "However, what we have in the city of Los Angeles is a multi-billion dollar industry with very little controls."

The issue will go before the city council this week, but Huizar said the votes will close.

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