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(USA) LA may limit medical marijuana dispensaries

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 1 (UPI) — Los Angeles storefront purveyors of medical marijuana must be at least 1,000 feet from schools, parks and libraries, a city council committee proposes.

The dispensaries would also have to be at least 1,000 feet from religious institutions, childcare facilities, youth medical marijuana prescreptioncenters, hospitals, drug rehabilitation centers and other community centers, the proposed ordinance says.

The storefronts would also have to limit their operations to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and have membership, cash flow and inventory records available for inspection without a search warrant or court order, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The proposal follows arguments from Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich that most medical marijuana dispensaries are operating illegally, not just in Los Angeles but across the state as well.

Government lawyers and other officials increasingly say California — the first state to legalize the sale of medical marijuana — unwittingly created safe havens for drug pushers to dope the population with impunity.

Every pot store the San Diego district attorney’s office has looked into was found to be operating illegally, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said.

The state Legislature adopted a bill in 2003 that lets patients and caregivers “associate within the state of California in order, collectively or cooperatively, to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes.” The law exempts them from prosecution for selling, transporting and distributing pot.

These exemptions apply only to marijuana growing, not selling, Trutanich’s office argues.

Thirteen states, from New England to the Pacific Northwest, have passed laws allowing marijuana possession for qualified medical reasons, even though the drug is illegal under federal law.


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