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Marijuana Dispensaries Get Reprieve After Ban is Put on Hold Thanks to Signature Drive

Whew. You can exhale now. Marijuana advocates who want you to be able to vote on overturning L.A.'s weed dispensary ban turned in their signatures this morning.

While they had yet to be verified, our understanding of the situation, seconded this morning by the L.A. City Attorney's office, is that Los Angeles' controversial prohibition on retail pot shops is now officially on hold unless the signatures or proper paperwork were deficient.

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Patients Defend Medical Marijuana, Attempt to Overturn LA Ban

Proponents of medical marijuana say they have gathered enough signatures for the city clerk to force a ballot referendum to repeal the Los Angeles pot-shop ban. Ted Chen reports from Eagle Rock for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2012.

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Bid to repeal L.A.'s ban on pot shops may be headed for ballot

A referendum to repeal a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles appears to be headed for the ballot, with pot shop supporters saying Wednesday that they have collected nearly twice the signatures required to force a citywide vote and key City Council members signaling that they won't try to stop it.

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Proposition 32: A fraud to end all frauds - L.A. Times

Proposition 32, on the November ballot, is nothing but an attack by Republicans and conservatives on unions and their members.

UFCW Affirms Support for Access to Medical Cannabis in Small Regulated, Financially Transparent Dispensaries

Statement of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 770 President Rick Icaza:

We continue to support an ordinance that would allow the approximately 100 licensed and regulated dispensaries established before 2007 to continue to operate," said Rick Icaza, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, the union representing medical cannabis dispensary workers. UFCW represents workers at 40 of Los Angeles' medical cannabis dispensaries, all licensed by the city.

Voters in the state of California overwhelmingly passed proposition 215 to give the sick and disabled access to this useful medicine," continued Icaza. "The city should not try to subvert the will of the voters and deny the sick and infirm relief in order to score political points. We should all work together to reach an agreement which will allow a small number of highly regulated, financially transparent dispensaries to operate in our city.

The motion passed to study ways to allow lawfully licensed pre-2007 dispensaries to continue to distribute medicine is the right approach. It would allow the city to crack down on rogue dispensaries violating laws and creating nuisances while allowing those suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, MS, muscular dystrophy and other painful and debilitating diseases to continue to receive their medicine.

We must act with compassion and guarantee safe access while at the same time enforcing the rule of law. A one size fits all approach denying the sick and infirm their relief is not the answer. As in much in life, if not politics, the answer lies in compromise. We urge the city council to set aside politics and create a real solution, one that preserves the right of the sick to their medicine in a safe and professional dispensary.

L.A.'s reefer madness - L.A. Times

The Los Angeles City Council has decided that leaving medical marijuana dispensaries unregulated and uncontrolled is what is best for L.A. residents. On Tuesday, as reported by The Times, council members voted 14 to 0 to no longer be in the business of ensuring that dispensaries are well run and that patients have safe access to medicine.

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Ban medical marijuana? Sure you will ... - L.A. Times

Medical marijuana law is as twisted as the ends of a Canna Sutra spleef, so the Los Angeles City Council aims to act Tuesday to free the City of Angels from all the confusion and make our kids safe from designer cannabis. There's only one problem with the council's foolproof plan, dreamed up by Councilman Jose Huizar and backed by law-and-order City Atty. Carmen Trutanich: It can't possibly work.

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Dueling Medical Marijuana Rallies Target City Council Before Tuesday's Dispensary Ban Vote - laist.com

Los Angeles City Council members are scheduled to vote on a citywide plan to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in L.A. on Tuesday, and activists on both sides of the battle came out in full force today to make their cases.

Backed by Councilmembers Jose Huizar, Mitchell Englander, Bernard Parks and Jan Perry, the proposed ban would allow primary caregivers and patients to grow and transport marijuana, according to City News Service. Additionally, the measure would permit two to three patients to collectively grow and share cannabis in homes or apartments—not storefronts.

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Thousands rally against Wal-Mart in Chinatown

Several union and civil rights activists speak at the event opposing a new Wal-Mart store in Chinatown, and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello plays 'This Land Is Your Land.'

Several thousand people, led by a banner that read "Wal-Mart= Poverty," marched through Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles Saturday to decry the giant retailer's plans for a neighborhood grocery store and the chain's low-end wage scale and non-unionized workforce.

In LA Walmart Protest, Thousands Of Angelenos March On Chinatown In Anti-Walmart Action - Huffington Post

Led by a motorcycle brigade and Chinese lion dancers, thousands of Angelenos marched through the heart of Chinatown Saturday to protest Walmart moving into the historic downtown Los Angeles neighborhood. Walmart workers, large groups from various unions and others shouted slogans such as "Walmart hurts the 99 percent" and "Walmart, Walmart, you're no good. Treat your workers like you should" as they passed many of the neighborhood's small Chinese businesses.

Unhappy 50th Birthday, Walmart! - inthesetimes.com

After losing her job in advertising when her small-business employer folded during the recession, Marie Kanzer-Born, 54, found herself turning in desperation a year ago to a night shift job stocking shelves at a suburban Chicago Walmart. But she wasn't happy with what she calls "the weird culture of fear" that its hovering, hectoring supervisors created, the inadequate staffing that forced everyone to work faster and at risk of injury, the erratic scheduling, the refusal to pay for overtime work, and the retaliation aganst anyone who was not subservient--often through cuts in hours of work.

Community, Faith, Labor to Unite in Largest Ever Rally to Stop “Walmartization” of L.A. Jobs

Ten thousand in L.A.’s Chinatown to tell Walmart:
“L.A.’s future won’t be bought off”


Los Angeles – On Saturday, ten thousand Southland residents concerned about the growth of L.A.’s low wage economy and the influence of the nation’s largest retailer will march through L.A.’s Chinatown to call for an end to the “Walmartization” of L.A. jobs. Saturday’s march and rally will be the largest demonstration in history calling for Walmart to change its business practices to help rebuild the American economy.

Musicians stand up to Walmart in Los Angeles - LA Fed

Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Ben Harper, No Age contribute their
voices to massive protest against Walmart in L.A.’s Chinatown

(Los Angeles, CA) As thousands prepare to hit the streets of L.A.’s historic Chinatown on Saturday, June 30, for the largest protest against Walmart ever held in the U.S., several acclaimed musicians, including three Grammy winners, are joining the growing effort to stop the world’s largest retailer from opening in Chinatown and expanding across Los Angeles with poverty-level jobs and practices that hurt local businesses and communities. Musicians are also backing hundreds of Walmart workers who will march on June 30 to demand Walmart treat them with respect and provide wages that can support families.

Los Angeles: County of 212 Walmarts? - FryingPanNews

Maybe you will be one of the 10,000 people expected at a June 30th protest in L.A.’s Chinatown against a controversial plan to open a Walmart store there. The uber-retailer’s reputation for wrecking the atmosphere of historic districts like Chinatown, and posing a potential threat to local businesses, has generated strong resistance to plans for a 33,000 square-foot “express” Walmart at Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues.

Terrifying New Map Shows Walmart's Anticipated Growth in L.A. County - LA Weekly

Every time plans for a new L.A.-area Walmart leak to the public -- recent targets include Burbank, Chinatown and Altadena -- we see a familiar wave of outrage and picket signs and union pressers.

But Wal-Mart knows what it can and can't do. A company this savvy isn't going to waste time trying to open its doors where city ordinances don't permit. So Wal-Mart has instead found local loopholes...

Cannabis Campaign Update

At today's Los Angeles City Council meeting, Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. agreed to continue the items related to medical cannabis. There was no vote on the full dispensary ban put on the table by Council members Jose Huizar and Mitchell Englander. The new date for the vote has been tentatively scheduled for the City Council's regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 24 at 10 am.

Today’s vote continuation allows us more time to build, but must continue to rapidly grow our movement to win a responsible medical cannabis ordinance for Los Angeles.

If you are a nonunion dispensary owner that wants to join, please contact UFCW Local 770 Organizing Director Rigo Valdez (213-201-7120).

Patients and caregivers who want to join our movement - please contact Matt O'Malley (213-201-7124) for more information on how to get involved.

All supporters of safe access, please take a moment to fill out and submit a letter to your L.A. Council member. Like UFCW Medical Cannabis Division on Facebook, for important campaign updates and information.

Reefer madness: committee votes to ban medical marijuana clinics in Los Angeles - KPCC

Medical marijuana clinics would be banned in the city of Los Angeles under an ordinance approved today by the Public Safety Committee.

The proposed ordinance, which still requires approval from the full Los Angeles City Council, would shut down existing dispensaries throughout the city. Angelenos with the proper prescription would be allowed to cultivate marijuana for their personal medicinal use, under the proposal. Residential care facilities and hospices could also continue to provide medical marijuana.

Labor stands up for safe access in LA - SafeAccessNow

Organized labor spoke up on behalf of medical cannabis patients and workers in Los Angeles today. One hundred medical cannabis patients, workers, and advocates gathered on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall for a press conference hosted by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 770, which represents workers at more than twenty of the most reputable patients’ cooperatives and collectives in the city. UFCW Local 770 called the press conference to oppose a motion by City Council Members Jose Huizar and Mitchell Englander calling for an outright ban on patients’ associations. The motion will be before the Public Safety Committee tomorrow, and may be before the full City Council within days.

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