Monday, May 14, 2012

L.A. City Council to Offer Limited Immunity to Select Collectives in 'Gentle Ban' as Alternative to Outright Ban

The Los Angeles City Council will take up a proposal to offer limited immunity to some medical marijuana collectives on Wednesday May 16.

The measure, introduced by council members Paul Koretz and seconded by Herb Wesson Jr., will have the city attorney draft a "gentle ban" on medical marijuana dispensaries, reports pro-pot advocate Brett Stone.

The proposal states: "The City has strived for more than seven years to strike a balance between carefully regulating medical marijuana facilities and assuring patient access to medication. The "gentle ban" would eliminate all medical marijuana dispensaries while still providing for distribution by licensed health care facilities and for home-based cultivation by patients and care-givers. This approach may result in a hardship for seriously ill patients who cannot cultivate at home and who lack access to a licensed health care provider or a care-giver who will cultivate for them."

The limited immunity of the Koretz proposal would apply to a group of collectives that met certain qualifications. However, failure to keep up with those conditions would forfeit the right for the collective to remain open.

It would also be applicable for a limited number of collectives and until certain court cases are decided and the ordinance is amended.

Sarah Armstrong, legal liaison for The Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance. stated in an email to Stone that they were "over the moon" about the development.

"To have Koretz come in at the eleventh hour with a motion to put an ordinance back on the table is nothing short of a miracle and we are deeply grateful to him," she added. "Below is the motion. Note the language ' ordinance implementing that approach be presented to the Council as an alternate to the ban approved by the City Planning Commission.' (emphasis added)"

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