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Medi-pot activists protest city plans

November 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Those supporting the legalization of marijuana are taking a stand against plans by Los Angeles City officials to ban the sale of medical marijuana.Members of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws and their supporters gathered in West Hollywood Sunday morning to compose handwritten letters to send to Los Angeles City Councilmembers and state lawmakers.

They're hoping to convince officials not to approve an ordinance proposed by city attorney Carmen Trutanich that would prohibit sales of medical marijuana.

Cheryl Aichele suffers from a chronic medical condition that causes her severe pain. She says if she can't purchase marijuana from a legal dispensary, she'll be forced to get it on the streets.

"Right now, I'm able to go into a respectable location, get my medicine and be safe. The city of Los Angeles has screwed up because they haven't put any regulations in place, so none of these places are regulated now," said Aichele through tears.

Los Angeles has hundreds of storefront medical marijuana dispensaries. Most sell pot and pay state sales tax.

L.A.'s moratorium of opening of new medical marijuana dispensaries was struck down by a judge. Some believe that the proposed ordinance will force most of them to close.

The city attorney wants to require dispensaries to grow their pot on site and limit the number of plants they can cultivate. That means each dispensary would only be able to serve a small number of patients.

"If people think it's bad now with 800 medical marijuana collectives in the city, if Trutanich's ordinance passes, we'll have 10,000 dispensaries because he's requiring collectives to be of 99 plants or less," said medical marijuana activist Brett Stone.

The city council is expected to consider the ban on sales of medical marijuana sometime in the next few weeks.


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