The Los Angeles City Council has voted to repeal a new ban on medical marijuana shops. The vote leaves the city without any regulation of its estimated 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The ban was put into place earlier this year. Medical marijuana supporters recently gained enough signatures to place an initiative on the upcoming March ballot that would have repealed the ban. The city’s marijuana activists are increasingly organized and well funded, the newspaper notes.
Medical marijuana is permitted under California law, but its sale and use is considered a crime under federal law. Federal officials recently have been raiding Los Angeles marijuana dispensaries. Many of them have received letters ordering them to shut down within two weeks.
Council members who oppose the dispensaries said they will try to find other ways to shut them down, using existing laws. One council member called on the city to prosecute the shops for violating zoning laws, pointing out they are not on the city’s list of approved land uses.
Council members called for stricter regulations of doctors who provide patients with medical marijuana recommendations, and said patients should be required to show six months of medical history before they obtain a recommendation.