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LA's Marijuana Clinics On The Ballot: What You Need To Know

Lauren Madow |
May 21, 2013 | 2:52 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Medical marijuana clinics in LA may soon face restrictions (Laurie Avocado)
Medical marijuana clinics in LA may soon face restrictions (Laurie Avocado)
Los Angeles voters will decide the future of the city's medical marijuana dispensaries in today's election.

Proposition D, Ordinance E and Ordinance F are the three measures in question (the ordinances were put on the ballot as a result of a citizen-created petition, while the proposition was created by the Los Angeles City Council). Each offers a different plan for regulating dispensaries in a way that suits both medical marijuana advocates and opponents.

Here is what each one covers:

PROPOSITION D: This proposition would limit the number of marijuana clinics in Los Angeles to the 135 which already existed before the 2007 City Council-issued moratorium on building new clinics. That would mean closing roughly 1500 dispensaries. It would also impose a tax increase on clinics from $50 per $1000 earned to $60 per $1000 earned. The measure exempts "dwelling units" where three or fewer people cultivate marijuana for medical use.

ORDINANCE E: Backers of Ordinance E have decided to throw their support behind Proposition D instead, as it covers the same principles. This means that although Ordinance E remains on the ballot, it is essentially null and void.

ORDINANCE F: Rather than limiting the number of clinics, Proposition F would require all dispensaries to register with the city and to follow certain rules, such as keeping a certain distance from schools and from other dispensaries, operating as a non-profit, and requiring annual background checks for clinic employees. This would leave roughly 1750 clinics open. Proposition F includes the same tax increase as Proposition D. Proponents of Ordinance F argue that 135 clinics would not be enough to serve all of LA's patients who use medical marijuana. 

See the Marijuana Policy Project for in-depth analysis of various LA candidates' takes on the propositions.

For the latest on a state-wide marijuana legalization bill, see the Daily Chronic.

Reach Executive Producer Lauren Madow here. Follow her here.



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