LA Medical Pot Activists Fight Back on Ban

By McCarton Ackerman 08/29/12

Activists say they'll turn in a 50,000-signature petition protesting the city's ban on pot dispensaries today, forcing a referendum.

Will some dispensaries be allowed to stay?
Photo via

Medical marijuana activists in Los Angeles aren't going away quietly when it comes to the city's ban on medical pot dispensaries. They say they're expecting to turn in 50,000 signatures of people against the decision to the city clerk today, hoping to force a ballot referendum to repeal the ban. Once the signatures are submitted, the ordinance will be temporarily suspended while the names are verified against voter registration information. If enough of the names are found to be valid, the ban will be suspended further until voters have a chance to decide the issue. And because the ban isn't supposed to take effect until next Wednesday, the signatures should arrive within plenty of time. "The city needs a small number of well-regulated and patient-centered dispensaries," says councilman Paul Koretz. "[Without them], the city will be stuck with no rules and no protections again." The ban was passed by the council last month and prohibits the sale of marijuana, although allows groups of three or fewer would still be allowed to cultivate and share weed. Opponents say the ban violates a state law guaranteeing patients safe access to medical marijuana, because most people aren't able to grow medical-grade pot.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.