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More San Diegans May Get To Vote On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Aired 10/8/12 on KPBS News.

Ballot measures to allow medical marijuana dispensaries seem to be cropping up like weeds.

— Voters in yet another San Diego city may get the chance to decide whether to allow medical marijuana dispensaries. La Mesa may be the next town to put the issue on a future ballot.

The Mother Earth Alternative Healing Cooperative was the last licensed medical marijuana co-op in San Diego County. It closed its doors in September 2012.
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Above: The Mother Earth Alternative Healing Cooperative was the last licensed medical marijuana co-op in San Diego County. It closed its doors in September 2012.

The group Citizens for Patients Rights helped place medical marijuana dispensaries on the fall ballot in local cites. The group says it has in turned more than 6,500 signatures on a petition for a similar initiative to the La Mesa City Clerk.

Voters in Lemon Grove, Del Mar, Solana Beach and Imperial Beach will weigh in on dispensaries next month. Voters in Encinitas will face the issue in 2014.

But there's a rub. What ever happens at the ballot box, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy says she'll continue to enforce the federal ban on marijuana. That means she could force all dispensaries to shut down.

The Los Angeles City Council just repealed its ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. As a result, an estimated 1,000 L.A. storefronts are now unregulated.

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