Medical Marijuana Loophole Has LA Fuming

Overrun, city cracks down on dispensaries
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 8, 2009 10:23 AM CDT
Los Angeles medical-cannabis dispensary owner Vincent Mehdizadeh poses with his new Marijuana vending machine installed at the Herbal Nutrition Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.    (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – After letting marijuana dispensaries multiply across the city, Los Angeles is getting tough on them, telling some to shut down while the city council works to close a loophole that allowed many to open. The city issued a moratorium on new dispensaries in 2007, but many people filed “hardship exemptions” to get past the rule. Now LA has some 800 shops; 28 were told to close or face fines last week, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“They were like a rash,” said a councilman. The crowds at a dispensary near a high school made the place look “like an ice cream shop from the 1950s."