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article imageLos Angeles District Attorney to Crack Down on Pot Shops

By Oliver VanDervoort     Oct 11, 2009 in Crime
Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of California for about 10 years, but the Los Angeles district attorney has announced he will go on the offensive against a "vast majority" of the medi-pot clinics.
Dozens of clinics operate under a 1996 initiative that allows medical marijuana use, and a state law that allows for collective growing of marijuana. But after a State Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, Los Angeles county D.A. Steve Cooley told the Los Angeles Times that he has concluded that "over-the-counter sales are illegal. Most if not all of the dispensaries in the state operate on that basis."
He went on to say the "vast majority of dispensaries in Los Angeles County and the city are operating illegally.
Some in California are questioning the timing of this move, considering that medical marijuana brings in $18 million a year in tax revenue. That's revenue the state could dearly use as they go through a massive budget crises, some experts believe.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a group which advocates the nation-wide legalization of cannabis for adults, is angry about the decision.
"Last year, the state’s attorney general issued a legal opinion that clearly stated that 'a properly organized and operated collective or cooperative that dispenses medical marijuana through a storefront may be lawful under California law,'" MPP noted in Opposing Views. "Maybe Cooley didn’t get the memo."
While the Los Angeles county D.A. is attempting to close down the medical marijuana clinics, the people of the state are trying to complete the process of completely legalizing the drug, and imposing a tax on it. Marijuana is currently California's top cash crop, and should it become legalized, it could produce upwards of $1.3 billion in tax revenue.
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