Los Angeles Voters to Decide on Two Competing Medical Marijuana Initiatives
Advocates for two competing medical marijuana measures in Los Angeles have gathered enough signatures to have the initiatives appear on the May ballot. Both measures aim to manage growth of medical marijuana shops, according to NBC News.
In October, the Los Angeles City Council reversed a ban on medical marijuana shops, which they had passed earlier in the year.
One initiative that qualified for the ballot last week proposes that medical marijuana shops should be allowed to operate, if they pass background checks and meet strict standards for operating and zoning. The measure also would raise taxes on medical marijuana by 20 percent, to cover costs for regulating the industry.
The other measure, which also qualified for the ballot last week, would require most of the city’s marijuana dispensaries to close—except for the 100 that opened before September 2007, when the city imposed a moratorium on the new stores.
The city did not enforce the moratorium, because of strong opposition. In 2012, there were an estimated 1,000 marijuana shops throughout the city, according to NBC News.
Medical marijuana is legal under California law. Under federal law, it is illegal to possess and sell marijuana.