The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to ban all medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. A fig leaf provision designed to honor California’s 16-year-old legalization of marijuana for medical use would allow patients and caregivers to grow a small amount of their own supply.

Obviously most people aren’t horticulturalists with the knowledge or skills necessary to cultivate marijuana plants, and genuinely sick people will not be happy about waiting for their medication to ripen.

The unanimous vote suggests widespread support for the ban. Councilman Jose Huizar, quoted in the L.A. Times, said “Relief is on its way.”

The Times reports that 762 dispensaries registered with the city will have to shut down immediately or face legal action.

Proposition 215, passed in 1996, legalized marijuana for medical use, but the measure was worded broadly enough to allow general access to the drug. Most people get their weed through dispensaries. In order to do so, a patient must be referred by a doctor and must register with the dispensary. The proliferation of these pot shops has been a blessing to struggling local economies. The city of Oakland may take in as much as $1 million in tax revenue. But some say the dispensaries are a blight.

The City Council’s decision adds a few twists to the already tangled mess of federal, state and municipal laws governing the sale and use of marijuana in California.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

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