The Court of Appeals has spoken and municipalities such as the City of Los Angeles have no authority to control medical marijuana dispensaries.
The basis of the ruling was that state law pre-empts municipal law. So how does the LA City Council respond? It decides to waste even more time and money on conducting hearings to determine whether dispensaries should be banned in lieu of a "gentle ban" which would allow users limited growing capabilities within city confines.
It seems the city council has not learned the lessons of prohibition or that they are on a limited budget, and it is likely the California Supreme Court will uphold the ruling of the Court of Appeals based on the pre-emption doctrine.
The hyperbole generated by city council members seems reminiscent of the words used in opposition to 'smut peddlers,' of the 1960's. Porn is now a multi-billion dollar business and garners tax revenues for the City of the Angels, especially from business located in Chatsworth and throughout the valley.
The protestations of locals playing the 'fear card,' really are analogous to those voices heard over 50 years ago as they battled pornography in the valley. The by-products of this hyperbole really are the waste of government and police resources.
Just think if the city and the state taxed dispensaries. The revenues could aid in supplementing local services, now curtailled by budget cuts. Moreover, those who need marijuana for its medicinal effects could get what they need to ease their pain. This prospect does not create a field of dreams for marijuana producers, but a cash crop for city tax coffers.
It is time to push the clock forward from the 1960s and 1970s and realize that we, as Californians, can once again lead the nation and turn marijuana into a revenue enhancer.
The trade-offs are not as scary as the ban proponents claim, given the higher incidences of liquor store robberies and DUIs as they pertain to the sale and use of alcohol.
Perhaps it is time for one of our council to show some fortitude and propose city wide legalization of the dispensaries accompanied by license fees and taxation. Smut peddlers are now legitimate businesses supporting our tax base and there is no reason why dispensaries cannot do the same.