District Attorney Steve Cooley today congratulated Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich and the Board for voting to draft an ordinance banning illegal marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated portions of the county.
“I unequivocally support the Board’s proposed ban and applaud the Board’s leadership in this area,” Cooley said. “Communities throughout the nation are waiting to see how we handle store fronts illegally pushing pot.”
Santa Clarita banned the establishment of any medical marijuana dispensaries in 2007.
By a unanimous vote, the Board on Tuesday ordered staffers to draft an ordinance banning the illegal marijuana dispensaries and to seek ways to more quickly shut down illegal operators. A report is due back in two weeks.
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The Board’s action came after Supervisor Antonovich proposed the ban in unincorporated areas of the county.
Cooley said if the county doesn’t act, illegal dispensary operators will set up shop in areas where restrictions don’t apply. This would predictably lead to an increase in crime.
“A disturbing pattern of robberies and murders has emerged just in the past two weeks at local dispensaries,” Cooley said. “The public’s safety is paramount and Los Angeles County residents deserve our attention to this growing problem.”
Cooley said over-the-counter sales of marijuana are patently illegal under both federal and state law.
“Supervisors have the legal right to impose a ban,” he said. “Residents have the right not to bear the detrimental impact these dispensaries have on our communities.”