Voters to decide medical marijuana shop issue in Los Angeles


Lawmakers are trying to crackdown on the medical marijuana industry in an attempt to balance the need for medical pot for the sick versus complaints about crime. Officials believe the industry has grown enormously profitable and has made cannabis available for recreational use.

Voters will have the opportunity to choose from three medical marijuana initiatives aimed at providing the legal framework for the industry.

Proposition D would reduce the number of cannabis dispensaries by allowing only about 135 storefronts that opened prior to 2007 to remain open.

The proposition would also increase taxes on those businesses slightly.

Proposition E would allow the clinics that opened before 2007 to remain open but would not increase the business' taxes.

Proposition F wouldn't limit the number of pot shops but would put stringent controls, such as audits and background checks, on employees. Proposition F also raises taxes.

The proposition with the most votes wins, but only if it collects a majority.

If none of the measures receive more than 50 percent, the issue could go back to the Los Angeles City Council.

Councilmembers approved a total ban on clinics in the summer of 2012, but that ban was rescinded after supporters qualified a ballot measure to overturn it.

It remains a federal crime to sell or possess medical marijuana. Clinics still face federal and state prohibitions against marijuana sales.

The U.S. government has stepped up their enforcement in an attempt to rein in the explosive spread of medical marijuana outlets in California by raiding clinics and prosecuting owners.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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