Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Top Stories

Medical Marijuana Ban to be Brought to Public Vote

Activisits gathered over 50,00 signatures to challenge medical marijuana ban.

Opponents of a city-wide ban on storefront medical marijuana dispensaries have garnered enough petition signatures to call a public vote, the Los Angeles City Clerk’s Office confirmed Monday.

Marijuana could soon be readily available for patients due to signatories of a public vote
Marijuana could soon be readily available for patients due to signatories of a public vote

A group of activists submitted a petition with almost 50,000 signatures to challenge the ban, which was supposed to go into effect on Sept. 6. The City Council now has to decide between retracting the ban, calling a special election in the next 110 to 140 days, or putting the issue on the ballot at the March 5 city election.

Consideration on the issue should take place by City Council before Oct. 7, according to the city clerk's office. For now the petition has put a hold on the ban. However, "the business of medical marijuana continues to be an unpermitted land use in the city," reminded the city attorney's office in an online post.

The opinion in City Council was split concerning whether the city could rightfully regulate cannabis collectives when the issue was voted on in July. The legislation would permit caregivers and licensed patients of medical marijuana to grow and carry their own marijuana, while banning the storefront dispensaries.

Despite the overwhelming public support for the petition, having collected 49,021 signatures when only 27,425 were needed, Councilman Jose Huizar affirms that while the ban is on hold, the city’s “Sunset Clause” is now in effect in its place. This “outlaws storefront dispensaries and only allows, per state law, for a qualified patient or caregiver to grow their own or collectives consisting of three or fewer qualified patients or their caregivers.” Huizar, who originally backed the ban,  believes that if these petitioners “cared about legitimately ill patients, they would be in Sacramento demanding changes to a lax state law that allows recreational users and profiteers to dominate the market.”

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.