Mixer: Is LA hungry to close medical pot shops?

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This week, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer and Police Chief Charlie Beck announced an effort to help property owners and real estate agents comply with Proposition D, which banned all but about 100 medical marijuana dispensaries that opened before 2007.

But that’s not the only crackdown.

Four LA dispensaries were raided by DEA agents, along with two homes.

We’re devoting today’s Mixer to the issue of medical marijuana.

Dennis Romero is a reporter for LA Weekly, and Kerry Cavanaugh – a KCRW alum – is an editorial writer at the LA Times.

Proposition D was passed last year by voters, and effectively makes 90 percent of the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries illegal.

But the city seems like it’s moving at a glacial pace to go after the estimated 1,100 pot shops that are reportedly still in operation. All the while, LA’s Office of Finance this week says it’s collected $8.6 million in business taxes from medical marijuana collectives in the past three years.

LA Weekly counted more than 500 shops in 2009 when the city really started to regulate them. Now we have twice that number. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole, where the city closes a dispensary and another opens right up.

California was a trailblazer in the 1990s when it passed medical marijuana. But as far as recreational marijuana goes, blue and progressive California is behind other states (namely Colorado and Washington State) in the quest to legalize pot.