LA County Victory on Medical Marijuana

. strong>For Immediate Release: May 9, 2006

LA County Reaffirms Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance & Votes to Implement State ID Card Program

Los Angeles, CAToday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved two pieces of medical marijuana legislation that will help improve safe access for patients throughout the County. The Board voted in favor of an ordinance to regulate medical cannabis dispensing collectives (dispensaries) in unincorporated LA County and voted to move forward with the state Medical Marijuana ID Card Program. Los Angeles County joins with 3 other counties and 24 cities in California to establish guidelines and regulations governing dispensaries; and is the 22nd County to implement the State’s Medical Marijuana ID Card Program. Dozens of patients and advocates in attendance applauded the Board for taking action.

Patient-advocates with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nation’s largest medical marijuana advocacy group, were pleased with the day’s proceedings. “This is a victory for patients and a solid step towards countywide implementation of Proposition 215 and SB-420, California’s medical cannabis laws,” said Amanda Brazel, Los Angeles County Field Coordinator for ASA. “LA County is leading the way now. This puts the nation’s most populous county ahead of the curve on medical cannabis.”

The popular ordinance requires safety protocols and allows for on-site consumption of medication. The ordinance also allows dispensaries to provide patients with cannabis plant cuttings to grow at home – a move that advocates say will save money and help make legal patients self-sufficient. The Board made a small change to the ordinance requiring dispensaries to obtain a full conditional use permit. This will result in a longer permitting process, especially when a permit decision is appealed.

Los Angeles County will join twenty-one other California counties in issuing the Medical Marijuana ID Card this summer, part of a statewide program mandated by the State Assembly in 2004 (SB-420). The cards will assist law enforcement in identifying medical marijuana patients, although the ID cards are voluntary for patients.

# # #

Americans for Safe Access ( is the nation’s largest organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research.