Regulating medical pot

May 24, 2007


Los Angeles finally took serious action last week to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, by placing a moratorium on any new dispensaries until new city rules are written.

It's the correct action, just 10 years late.

Medical marijuana was approved for use by sick people in California after Proposition 215 was passed by voters in 1996. Since then, dispensaries opened all over Los Angeles and enjoyed virtually no regulation by state government.

Local government took little notice, either, and the unchecked growth naturally led to abuses and to community concerns in places like North Hollywood, which has more than its fair share of dispensaries.

But it wasn't until the past year when the number and impact of the pot centers became clear. Neighbors complained about crime and loitering near storefronts. Federal authorities raided 11 local pot clinics in January.

This is not about whether one believes marijuana helps sick people. It's about putting reasonable regulations on an unchecked industry. It's about right, and it's about time Los Angeles finally took action.

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