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No quick action seen on L.A. marijuana dispensaries

Councilman Ed Reyes says several complex issues need to be resolved before a draft ordinance goes to the full City Council.

November 04, 2009|John Hoeffel

This was to be the week that the Los Angeles City Council, spurred by a judge's ruling that its moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries was invalid, was to take action. But it won't be this week. Or even next week. And it probably won't be the week after.

Councilman Ed Reyes, who is overseeing the development of an ordinance on the dispensaries, said Tuesday that he decided it would not be wise to send the draft to the council without trying to resolve several complicated and contentious issues.

He said he expects to take up the ordinance again at the committee level, most likely in the third week of November. Some council members, including Reyes, will be at a national conference next week.

"I want to get it out on the council floor as soon as possible," Reyes said.

The council has been working on a draft ordinance for more than two years. Hundreds of dispensaries, by some estimates as many as 1,000, have opened because the city failed to enforce its ban.

Last month, a Superior Court judge declared that the moratorium had been illegally extended. That led council members to pledge quick action. But the council is still wrestling with how to ensure that marijuana is not sold for profit, whether to require dispensaries to provide names of patients and growers, and how far the stores should be kept from schools and other places where children congregate.

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john.hoeffel@latimes.com

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