PAN has received numerous requests from our community to present Los Angeles City Council with a resolution to regulate medical cannabis collectives. The following was submitted to the Council during their June 20, 2012 meeting.
A Resolution before the City of Los Angeles by the People of Los Angeles in order to amend the Los Angeles Municipal Code to regulate medical cannabis business activities as to protect the rights of patients and the will of the voters.
WHEREAS, the voters of California approved Proposition 215, The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (CUA) so that, with the recommendation of a physician, people with serious illnesses for which cannabis offers relief, can grow, obtain, transport and use cannabis without criminal jeopardy; and
WHEREAS, scientific medical research continues to demonstrate the therapeutic applications of cannabis for conditions such as Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Heart Disease and many other ailments; and
WHEREAS, cities such as West Hollywood, San Francisco, Palm Springs, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and others have successfully implemented workable, enforceable local guidelines for medical cannabis collective businesses sometimes called “Dispensaries;” and
WHEREAS, the People of Los Angeles support safe, legal access to medical cannabis for the nearly 400,000 qualified patients in the Greater Los Angeles area that utilize the over 800 patient collectives in the City; and
WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles benefits from the local taxation it implemented on the Dispensaries yet has failed to create a workable, legal set of guidelines causing frustration among our law enforcement and our communities and prompting scores of lawsuits; and
WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles has passed numerous motions since 2005, approving the implementation a local regulatory system and seating a Medical Marijuana Working Group for the purpose of drafting such guidelines and the Council's intent subsequently thwarted by the Los Angeles City Attorney's office with possible violations of State law; and
WHEREAS, the majority of the Dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles have self-regulated and been good neighbors by following The California State Attorney General Guidelines For The Security and Non-diversion of Marijuana Grown For Medical Use, August 2008, as well as creating jobs and revenue for Los Angeles and that many LA Dispensaries have grandfathering rights; and
WHEREAS, any ban on medical cannabis is a violation of the CUA, and the City of Los Angeles voted for a workable set of local medical cannabis guidelines and the People of Los Angeles support regulations that protect patients' rights, our communities and the will of the voters.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE PEOPLE OF LOS ANGELES DO RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:
1. The City of Los Angeles shall immediately:
a. Consult with outside counsel and any other related experts to draft a workable, enforceable set of local medical cannabis dispensary guidelines and look to other communities that have successfully implemented such for guidance;
b. Seat a citywide Medical Marijuana Taskforce made up of pertinent City staff and officials, medical cannabis patients and providers, and community and business leaders for the purpose of providing input on regulations and any future amendments, addressing concerns and creating any necessary subcommittees as needed;
c. Work with the California State Legislature and the U.S. Congress to realize a federal solution to the state-federal conflict regarding medical cannabis.
2. Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles shall:
a. Be any group of legally qualified patients and caregivers as defined by California State law that associate as a business entity for the purpose of legally dispensing medical cannabis exclusively amongst its registered members;
b. Be solely comprised of a private membership of legally qualified patients and their caregivers and obtain all of its medical cannabis products exclusively from its registered members;
c. Be good neighbors and operate within The California State Attorney General Guidelines For The Security and Non-diversion of Marijuana Grown For Medical Use, August 2008;
d. Follow reasonable security protocols by maintaining good lighting, appropriate signage, security cameras, safes, security guards or any security features deemed appropriate;
e. Be allowed fair permit hearings in their communities and be allowed to operate in accordance with the character and fashion of their neighborhoods and business communities.
I hereby certify that this Resolution by the People of Los Angeles was presented to the Los Angeles City Council at the Council meeting held on June 20, 2012.
Degé Coutee, Resident of Los Angeles
Medical Cannabis Patient and Social Justice Advocate