Over 400 Pot Dispensaries in LA Must Shut Doors

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More than 400 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles are under orders to close. That still leaves 186 of the dispensaries open to serve the public.

Give people an inch they’ll take a mile. That is what happened in California. Many observers say the medicinal marijuana situation in Los Angeles has gotten out of control. With more than 800 dispensaries estimated to exist in the city, the government approved an ordinance earlier this year to restrict the number to between 70 and 130.

The pot shops that opened before a 2007 moratorium are allowed to stay open if they qualify under certain rules. Those rules include being located at least 1,000 feet from schools, religious institutions, libraries, parks and other “sensitive use” areas. Also, they cannot be located across the street from or share a corner with any residentially zoned lots.

Michael Lee is a manager at JJ Herbal, which is located on Santa Monica Boulevard said “I think our intention is to remain open in defiance but if anything goes beyond that, we’ll be prepared to fight it if we have to.”

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Santa Monica medicinal marijuana user Gregg Heacock said he believes the City of Los Angeles purposely created a chaotic situation.
“The City’s idea was ‘If we don’t make this work properly and invest no energy in making it work properly, we can be pretty assured that it’s going to go about in this (chaotic) manner, and then we can bust them,” Heacock said.

Gregg Heacock who has a prescription for medicinal marijuana because of arthritis stated his case is not severe and he still got a prescription but another person he knows has severe arthritis, and the use of marijuana has lessened her pain, making it so she does not need to use ibuprofen.

Medicinal marijuana was legalized in California almost 14 years ago. Patients suffering from various illnesses, including AIDS, cancer and anxiety, can purchase marijuana after obtaining “recommendations” from doctors. It seems though it has gotten out of hand.

Council member Robert Holbrook, who is a retired pharmacist said “I don’t think it’s a problem we want,” and described the dispensaries he had heard about as places where “there’s always firearms involved, large amounts of cash, people at the doors offering to sell you marijuana cheaper than they do inside, and severe problems.”

City prosecutors have yet to say how they plan to enforce the ordinance, but fines for violating it could run as high as $2,500 per day. The City Attorney's Office sent letters last month to the operators of about 400 dispensaries, ordering them to close by Monday.

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