When you’re in a recession, you try to look for things you can do that will be proactive. Actions that will promote job growth. Apparently the members of the Los Angeles City Council are going to try a new approach.

On June 7th new regulations went into effect that will severely regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in L.A. As a result it’s estimated that over 400 dispensaries will have to close their doors. That’s 400 viable, functioning businesses that will be forced to lay off their employees and cease functioning. An already crowded job market will now be flooded with more lost souls just trying to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

And what about the tax revenue generated by these businesses? Is this money no longer needed by the city of Los Angeles?

Beyond that, imagine that you get your medication from Wal-Mart. Then imagine that Wal-Mart announces that it’s closing about 70% of  its pharmacies. Wouldn’t that make it harder for someone to get their medication? Medication that in many instances is desperately needed?

So by restricting medical marijuana dispensaries through zoning regulations (much the way many cities do with strip clubs and convicted sex offenders) the Los Angeles City Council is hurting the local economy, hurting their own revenues from taxes, and making it harder for sick people to obtain their medicine. It seems that putting a little effort into thinking of a better way would have been useful.

As Deputy Director of NORML Paul Armentano said:

“Medical cannabis dispensaries can be safely and positively integrated into the community in a way that addresses the legitimate concerns of law enforcement while at the same time maintaining the spirit of the law and properly meeting the needs of the patient population. Unfortunately, L.A.’s arbitrary and overly restrictive ordinance will do neither.”

What is a more important task for the city council than making sure what they do is beneficial for the people of Los Angeles?

Lawsuits are already flying. Subscribe to The 420 Times for continuing news on this story.

City prosecutors release list of 439 medical marijuana dispensaries that must close [Updated]

Joe Klare