Los Angeles voters will be deciding the future of their city’s medical marijuana laws this coming Tuesday, May 21st, when they will be presented with 3 measure, Measure E, D and F. All of these measure are related to medical marijuana, meaning that if all three pass, the one with the most votes will become law. Just last year, the city’s council voted to ban all dispensaries before quickly repealing the law once backers gathered enough signatures for a referendum.
Measure E, the first of the three, isn’t a viable option, and should be considered moot, as even the proponents of the measure have decided to stop actively campaigning in favor of Measure D. Measure D, which was drafted by the LA City Council, would take the 800 to 2,000 dispensaries in the city, and shut down all of them, with the exception of 135 that were in place before 2007. This would put an arbitrary and ridiculous limit on patients’ safe access to their medicine, and it won’t meet the market’s demand. In addition, the measure imposes absurd restrictions such as forcing all dispensaries to close by 8PM.
For cannabis reform advocates, medical marijuana patients, and anyone who supports compassionate and sensible policy, Measure F is the measure to vote for. Unlike Measure D, Measure F would let the free market determine the number of dispensaries that should be placed in the city, allowing patients to have close access to their medicine, and allowing further competition which will decrease price and increase quality standards. The measure does impose a slight increase in taxes, but it also has increases in quality control, such as requiring dispensaries to test for things such as mold.
All-in-all, Measure F offers as close to the ideal situation as LA medical cannabis advocates can ask for at this point, baring of course a drastic makeover in state and federal law.
Those in support of safe access in LA should vote for and spread the word about Measure F. According to a Survey USA poll, things are looking good, with 54% in support of Measure F – only 17% are in opposition. Support for Measure D, on the other hand, is at 40% compared to 24%, with 36% being uncertain.
Whichever measure comes out victorious, there’s sure to be further legal and political challenges to face. However, Measure F would be a clear and undeniable step forward, and would show that voters respect medical marijuana safe access.