Medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles took a hit on Tuesday. The city council approved a measure that will ban dispensaries throughout the city. The ban was passed unanimously with a 14-0 vote.
There are 762 dispensaries operating in the city. Once Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signs the law, each dispensary will be expected to shut down immediately.
The city believes that the dispensaries have caused an increase in crime. Police Chief Charlie Beck said that most dispensaries are “for-profit businesses engaged in the sale of recreational marijuana to healthy young adults.”
But those who claim to use marijuana for medical purposes think the real crime is the banning of dispensaries.
“I have anorexia. I have a back injury. I have fibromyalgia. I have other things that are wrong with me,” said one woman at the hearing. “The only thing that helps is medical marijuana.”
After the vote was announced, police were called in to manage the crowd of medical marijuana supporters.
Legality issues concerning marijuana have been hazy since an initiative was passed in California in 1996 legalizing medical marijuana. The sale of marijuana remains illegal under Federal law.