LA orders 439 medical marijuana dispensaries to close

From Drudge Reports…,0,5755191.story

Under the new ordinance, only dispensaries that registered with the city after the council adopted the moratorium in 2007 will be allowed to operate. City officials estimate that more than 130 of the original 186 registered dispensaries are still in business…

The Los Angeles Police Department cased the city to try to find every dispensary. Estimates from city officials and medical marijuana activists had ranged as high as 1,000. But Capt. Kevin McCarthy, who heads the LAPD’s Gangs and Narcotics Division, said, “We came up with less than 600, which is good.”…

The city’s enforcement efforts, however, could be stymied by court cases.

Two related lawsuits filed by dispensaries challenge the City Council’s decision to close stores that did not register under the moratorium, which a local judge ruled was illegally extended. “We’re looking for the court to just acknowledge that our clients are unlawfully discriminated against,” said David Welch, a lawyer who represents 36 dispensaries in the lawsuit.

As more states vote in or take up medical marijuana laws, California is trying to control the sales but lawsuits make it difficult.

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