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Los Angeles Voters to Decide Whether to Override City’s Ban on Medical Marijuana

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Supporters of a measure that would repeal a new Los Angeles City Council ban on medical marijuana dispensaries have gained enough signatures to put the initiative on the upcoming March ballot.

In 1996 California became the first state to approve medical marijuana, while federal law prohibits it, The Christian Science Monitor reports. Los Angeles voters approved a ban this summer, which took effect September 6.

Robert MacCoun, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told the newspaper that federal law states marijuana “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.” He added, “Clearly, marijuana is accepted as a medical treatment by many physicians, but that’s what the law says, so unless marijuana is rescheduled, state and federal officials will be at odds over this policy.”

A poll conducted by the University of Southern California in May found while 46 percent of California voters support legalization of general or recreational use of marijuana by adults, 80 percent support doctor-recommended marijuana use for severe illness.

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