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LA Medical Marijuana Vote Could Carry Implications In San Diego

Signage outside a Los Angeles medical marijuana evaluation clinic last year.
David McNew
Signage outside a Los Angeles medical marijuana evaluation clinic last year.

Los Angeles voters have approved a medical marijuana in Tuesday's election, which could carry implications in the City of San Diego.

With 63 percent of the votes, Los Angeles approved Proposition D to cap the number of medical marijuana dispensaries at 135 – the total that opened prior to 2007 – and raise taxes slightly.

In San Diego, the city is struggling to establish its own regulations after medical-marijuana advocates gathered enough signatures to rescind a 2011 ordinance.


Alex Kreit, a professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former chairman of the city's Medical Marijuana Task Force, said the passing of a measure in Los Angeles might drive the City of San Diego to act.

"I do think that if something passes in LA that will be another push, like another piece of the puzzle pushing the City Council to say, 'Let's get something in place,'" Kreit said prior to the results.

Kreit pointed to Mayor Bob Filner's leadership and said the city is "back on track" dealing with the issue, but it still lacks a concrete policy.

In Los Angeles, there were two other proposals on the ballot: Proposition E would cap the number at the same level as Proposition D, but raise no new taxes, and Proposition F wouldn't limit the number of shops but would put stringent controls such as audits and background checks on employees while also raising taxes.

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court ruled counties and cities can ban medical marijuana dispensaries within their borders.


On Monday, Capital Public Radio reported the state Senate passed a bill that would clarify state law to better protect law-abiding dispensaries.