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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Medical Marijuana -- We're Still Waiting for the Court

English: Medical marijuana neon sign at a disp...
English: Medical marijuana neon sign at a dispensary on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. 日本語: アメリカ合衆国ロサンゼルスのベンチュラ・ブルバードにある医療用大麻を取り扱う薬局の看板。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The City of Long Beach continues to wait for the courts to come to some type of clear conclusion regarding the issue as to whether or not medical marijuana collectives can operate in the City. We understand there may be a ruling in July.

As a reminder, the City Council voted 8-1 (Gabelich opposing) to ban these collectives in the City after one court ruled that we could not regulate them. And if you cannot regulate a business, you cannot allow the business to operate.

A separate court ruled that cities can ban these collectives but did not address whether or not the cities could regulate them. That is the question for which we are awaiting an answer.

What these courts have yet to address is the federal issue which is hitting the City of Oakland very hard as federal agents continue to close these operations because federal law still classifies marijuana as illegal.

Even though every council member except Gabelich voted to ban (and many of these same people took campaign/officeholder contributions from the collectives and their lobbyists) I continue to receive nasty comments and emails about how I have stopped people from getting their medical marijuana and how I should be turned out of office.

I also receive my harshest comments from members of the LGBT community who somehow feel that because I am gay that I should be automatically pro-medical marijuana.

I guess I should be flattered that some believe I am so powerful that I single handedly caused the ban on medical marijuana collectives in Long Beach (even though 7 others voted for it) -- and maybe I could pander to that idea.

Nope. I would rather be straight (no pun intended) about my position: if and when the courts rule that Long Beach can regulate non-profit medical marijuana collectives in a manner that is consistent with state and federal law, then I will support them being here.
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