By Hillel Aron
The City Council, after a genuine, real, honest to god debate, voted 13-1 to ban all pan shops in Los Angeles. And by 13-1, we mean 14-0, since Paul Koretz changed his vote retroactively (this is not a Mitt Romney joke) by going up to the city clerk later.
And so it is that, 16 years after California voted to legalize medical marijuana, the city council for the largest city in the state, after failing to construct a coherent policy for each of those 16 years, simply voted to rip the whole thing up and go back to prohibition. So within 45 days (or 30, or 90– everyone reports a different number) the 762 (or 1,000, or however many– no one really knows!) dispensaries will forced to shut their doors or face the wrath of LAPD.
Alice Walton tweets:
In order to appease Koretz, the council may later pass a reprieve for some of the older dispensaries. Here’s Kate Linthicum:
In a seemingly contradictory move, the council also voted to instruct city staff to draw up an ordinance that would allow a group of about 170 dispensaries that registered with the city several years ago to remain open.
Councilman Jose Huizar, who voted against that motion, said it might give the public “false hope” that the ban wound not be enforced.
He said the ban would be enforced, especially against problem dispensaries that have drawn complaints from neighbors. “Relief is on its way,” he said.
It’s unlikely that this second ordinance will even make it to a vote, let alone pass. In the end, all the councilmen, like Koretz and Dennis Zine, who expressed misgivings about the unironically named “gentle ban” fell in line, with the exception of Bill Rosendahl, who was absent– no doubt on purpose, to avoid the appearance of any genuine disagreement, since Rosendahl is a staunch supporter of medical marijuana, so long as he doesn’t have to vote for anything.
All in all, a typical day at City Council.
Over at Mayor Sam, Michael Higby points out at that the City Council and the state legislature have, collectively, banned the following: medical marijuana, plastic and paper bags from supermarkets, porn movies without condoms, tanning beds for teenagers, foie gras, shark fin soup, and Kosher Coca Cola.