On Thursday 6/07/2012, UFCW Local 770, Los Angeles residents, responsible dispensary operators, Americans for Safe Access (safeaccessnow) and Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance (GLACA.net)held a rally on the steps of LA City Hall to oppose the “Gentle Ban” by Councilmembers Huizar and Englander and to show support for the Koretz/Wesson motion which recognizes the 100 or so dispensaries in Los Angeles who have proven themselves and take accountability as health care facilities. Following the rally, patients suffering from MS, cancer, spine disease, etc. went to meet Councilmembers in person to beg for compassion and plead for the sensibility of the Koretz/Wesson motion. Many of these patients could never grow their own and would probably die trying if an outright ban of dispensaries came true.
The present issue is NOT the legalization of recreational marijuana use, whether cannabis has medical value, why pharmacies do not dispense cannabis, or whether patients’ rights are being trampled. It is about the City of Los Angeles having enough clarity to separate the black market distributors from the pioneers of a new health care industry, and allowing those of merit to advance cannabis science for the future of humanity.
Further confusing the issue at City Hall is the unethical way leaders of Neighborhood Councils have presented the issue to City Council. For instance, Studio City Neighborhood Council (SCNC) developed a Medical Cannabis Dispensary Advisory Committee to tackle the issue locally. The committee was comprised of stakeholders, law enforcement, dispensary operators, and concerned citizens. Studio City only has 5 dispensaries with medical marijuana collective business licenses, yet 13 are currently in operation and new stores are slated to open soon. After months of work, a set of dispensary operating guidelines was proposed and unanimously agreed to by the 5 licensed dispensaries; these guidelines are waiting further motion from the board of directors. The SCNC Planning and Land Use Committee which oversaw the dispensary committee voted 5-4-1 not to support the medical cannabis dispensary ban. However, when leadership of SCNC identify themselves to City Council, they use their elected titles then proceed to present their personal agenda to the City Council in support of a ban. Positive efforts are being thwarted and held from Councilmembers view while neighborhood politicians continue to sabotage progress for personal gain.
The only way to eliminate this issue from the headlines and focus on what really matters is for citizens and law makers to become “Common Sense Moderates.” The Koretz/Wesson motion will lay the groundwork for almost 70 law suits against the city to be dismissed. The Koretz/Wesson motion will allow for law enforcement to have a finalized list of legal dispensaries, any marijuana dispensary not on that list will be an easy target to eliminate. The Koretz/Wesson motion will raise property values as more and more unwanted and illegal dispensaries are removed from neighborhoods. The Koretz/Wesson motion will ensure safe access is available to your loved ones should they ever need it.
While Huizar’s “Gentle Ban” will cost the city millions of dollars to defend its actions against businesses that have proven vested and constitutional rights. The Huizar “Gentle Ban” will legalize marijuana grow operations in your neighbor’s home in plain sight of your children. The Huizar “Gentle Ban” will send thousands of sick and defenseless people to the street to be victimized. The Huizar “Gentle Ban” will bring drug dealers into your neighborhoods and schools.
The City of Los Angeles needs to stop wasting so much time, money and productivity chasing its tail and promoting the benefit of cutting of your nose to spite your face. A fair and balanced approach of 100 dispensaries allows for the best of all worlds. Regulation is easy, bad apples can and will be removed from operation, compassion for humanity is preserved and revenue for government is provided.
CEO, President & Founding Member
11705 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604