Legislators From States With Legalized Marijuana Push Back on Federal Crackdown
Legislators from states that have legalized marijuana are pushing back against a federal crackdown on the drug, led by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
After the Los Angeles City Council voted this week to shut down the city’s 762 marijuana dispensaries, medical marijuana advocates said they will work to overturn the ban.
The City Council also approved a seemingly contradictory proposal to allow 182 marijuana dispensaries that registered with the city under a 2007 ordinance to stay open, NBC News reports.
Under the ruling that shuts down the marijuana dispensaries, groups of up to three patients and their caregivers are allowed to grow their own medical marijuana. The ordinance also gives exemptions to hospices, licensed clinics and home-health agencies.
At least 850 marijuana stores are currently operating in Los Angeles, city officials estimate.
Americans for Safe Access, a national medical marijuana advocacy group, said in a statement they will seek a referendum to reverse the new law.
“This is an outrage that the City Council would think a reasonable solution to the distribution of medical marijuana would be to simply outlaw it altogether,” said Don Duncan, California director of the group. “The tens of thousands of patients harmed by this vote will not take it sitting down. We will campaign forcefully to overturn this poor decision by the council.”
Marina Turovsky, an attorney who represents marijuana dispensary owners and members, said some of them want to sue the city over the ban. She noted the ban could result in more dispensaries opening up in neighboring cities that still permit them.