Measure challenging L.A.'s pot shop ban qualifies for the March ballot

September 16, 2012

Rick Orlov, LA Daily News

A referendum seeking to overturn the city law banning medical marijuana dispensaries has qualified for the ballot in the election next March, the Los Angeles City Clerk's office announced Monday.

Clerk June Lagmay said the more than 27,000 signatures required to qualify were submitted and the City Council now has 20 days in which to repeal the measure, modify it or schedule it for the election.

Kris Hermes of Americans for Safe Access, which worked to qualify the referendum, said he hoped the city would adopt a compromise allowing more than 100 dispensaries that had applied for permits before an interim control ordinance took effect.

"That is a reasonable compromise until the state Supreme Court resolves the issue," Hermes said. "And, that way, the city can avoid the costs associated with an election."

Councilman Jose Huizar, who authored the ban on the dispensaries, said the city has tried to work with the medical marijuana community, without success.

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