As the former Co-Chair of AIDS Project Los Angeles, for many years I have supported the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes for those patients that have a legitimate medical need as confirmed by a physician, including people suffering from AIDS-related illnesses, cancer, glaucoma, and numerous other illnesses for which marijuana provides real relief from serious ailments. The City Council, however, completely mismanaged the regulation of dispensaries which led to dispensaries opening up all over the City close to schools, parks and churches. Much of the "product" provided in many dispensaries across the City was tested and determined to have come from illegal drug cartels. City leadership allowed the matter to get completely out of control.
As a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, I also believe that, ideally, medical marijuana should be prescribed to patients by their doctors and provided by a pharmacist that dispenses the drug at a pharmacy. That, however, is not the way medical marijuana in California is disseminated. Therefore, I would appoint a Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee to bring together representatives from the City Attorney's Office, the District Attorney's Office, neighborhood leaders, residents, and medical marijuana collective participants to all work together in creating a solution that works best for the City -- including reaching a maximum number of dispensaries in the City and further regulating the location of such dispensaries so that they will be dispersed throughout the City with an equal number of dispensaries in each of the City's 15 Council Districts. Law enforcement should continue to enforce existing laws regulating who can prescribe medical marijuana as well as the legitimate medical conditions warranting access to the drug.
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