Monday, October 26, 2009

L.A.'s Marijuana Dispensary Ban Could Cost The City Millions

Open for business on L.A.'s Ventura Boulevard... but for how long?
(Photo by lavocado, Wikimedia Commons)

By Steve Elliott in Chronic City

Los Angeles' proposed medical marijuana ordinance -- which would ban the sale of pot at dispensaries -- could cost the city $36 million to $74 million in lost sales tax, according to a marijuana advocacy group.

​Dale Gieringer, coordinator for the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said the proposed ordinance, supported by L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley, would "effectively shut down the city's marijuana distribution system by banning all sales of marijuana and sharply curtailing collectives' ability to grow and obtain medicine."

No other city or county in California has regulated collectives while banning sales, according to NORML.

Under the proposed ordinance, also prominently backed by L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, only nonprofit medical marijuana collectives -- groups of qualified patients with physicians' recommendations and their primary caregivers -- would be allowed to cultivate the herb to relieve the symptoms of serious illnesses.

​"Los Angeles would be foolish to pass this unworkable, ill-conceived ordinance," Gieringer said. "Not only would it cost $36 to $74 million in lost sales taxes and thousands of jobs, but the city can expect serious legal challenges in the courts. The city would be better advised to adopt a system of licensed regulation and taxes, which has proven successful elsewhere in the state."

Read the rest at Chronic City in the SF Weekly blog, "The Snitch": Chronic City: L.A.'s Marijuana Dispensary Ban Could Cost The City Millions | Digg story

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