On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted 11-1 to draft a ballot measure to regulate medical marijuana collectives in the city. This measure will be the third to appear during the May election, joining two others that have been certified after sponsors collected enough signatures from voters.
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich will write the language for their medical marijuana ordinance. The ordinance would call for the operation of approximately 100 dispensaries that were open before the city established a moratorium on new collectives in 2007. One of the other proposed measures has the same goal, but the City Council’s aims to have stricter regulations for those dispensaries.
Many marijuana activists are concerned that having three ballot measures on the same topic that are only slightly different than one another could be confusing to voters. Councilman Paul Koretz agrees with that sentiment, but feels it is necessary for the council to submit regulations of their own.
“I agree with anyone who will say that three measures on the same issue will be somewhat confusing. Still, on balance, this seems like the prudent way to go,” he explained.
The primary reason the council wants to submit their own measure is that the two others that are proposed would still allow for unregulated dispensaries to proliferate the system and operate without restriction.
Koretz explained, ““I think the best course for us is to offer voters a third alternative—a third and better alternative, which combines the revenue-raising provisions of one with the sensible controls on the numbers, locations and operations of dispensaries of the other.” He added: “This would ensure reasonable access but still protect our neighborhoods.”
The city council will vote next week to approve or disapprove of the language that City Attorney Trutanich comes up with.