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A Complete Guide to Tuesday's 3 Pot Shop Ballot Measures

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Mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel aren't the only pair on tomorrow's ballot without a lot of daylight between them--there are also two (technically three, more on that in a second) very similar measures seeking to regulate marijuana dispensaries. Whichever gets the most votes will become law, as long as it also has 50 percent of the vote, meaning it's possible that things could end up tilting in favor of the "ban all dispensaries" crowd, which opposes all these measures. As the Daily News notes, that could send the message that LA wants its City Council to figure this out--the problem there is that the City Council has been botching that job for years now. They've passed an absurd number of ordinances that have attracted dozens of lawsuits and still there's no real regulation in place. It should also be noted that the city pulled in $2.5 million in business taxes from medical marijuana businesses last year; that money goes into the general fund. (Meanwhile, there are actually three measures on the ballot--one is a proposition placed by the City Council and the other two are initiatives that made it on via signature campaigns. However, the Ordinance E group has suspended their campaign and thrown their support behind Prop. D.) Keeping up ok? To help you out, here's a relatively simple guide to all three:

Proposition D
The quick version: Caps pot shops at 135 and increases taxes from five to six percent.
What it does: Outlaws pot shops, except for 135 that have been open (and registered) since September 2007--also requires them to pay city taxes, pass yearly background checks, and be "separated from residential zones," 1,000 feet from schools, and 600 feet from parks, child care facilities, and other pot shops. Exempts three or fewer patients/caregivers who happen to live together and grow pot for themselves or their patients, as well as "licensed health care facilities and locations/vehicles during the time they are used to deliver medical marijuana to a qualified patient." Increases taxes on pot shops from $50 to $60 per each $1,000 of gross receipts.
Fiscal impact: Unclear, according to the city administrative officer: "Any revenue loss from the decrease in MMBs may be offset by the increase in the tax rate and the possible shift of business to the remaining [medical marijuana businesses]."
From the pro side: "Prop D is the only measure that can provide for safe access to medical marijuana for the genuinely ill while also protecting our neighborhoods and schools and generating increased funds for our City."
Who supports it: Pot shops that would meet the grandfathering requirements, outgoing City Councilmember (and medical marijuana patient) Bill Rosendahl, former LA County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, City Councilmember Paul Koretz, the LA County Democratic Club, the labor union that reps workers at the older dispensaries, both mayoral candidates.
From the con side: "This proposition will increase the proliferation of illegal pot shops across Los Angeles. It won't overturn Federal law which prohibits the sale or possession of marijuana for any reason."
Who opposes it: City Councilmembers Bernard Parks and Mitch Englander

Initiative Ordinance F
The quick version: Regulates pot shops (more heavily than Prop. D), but doesn't cap their total number. Raises taxes from five to six percent.
What it does: Outlaws pot shops except for any that register with the city and meet certain requirements. Does not limit the number of total shops/collectives, but creates three periods for registration: the first one is open to collectives established by October 9, 2012; the second is open to those established by October 20, 2012; the third is open to everyone else. Shops will have to be registered, pass yearly background checks, be 1,000 feet from schools and 500 feet from parks, child care facilities, and other collectives. They'll also have to file audits with the city, provide parking, keep out kids, and require the marijuana be tested for pesticides and toxins. Exempts residences and "licensed health care facilities and vehicles or other modes of transportation used to cultivate or distribute marijuana." Increases taxes on pot shops from $50 to $60 per each $1,000 of gross receipts.
Fiscal impact: "The higher tax rate and the formation of new MMCs will likely increase revenue."
From the pro side: "Unlike the other measures Ordinance F is the only regulation that will:
- Require background checks of all managers, employees and volunteers;
- Require each medical marijuana dispensary to file with the City Controller an audit of its operations that is reviewed by a CPA;
- Require each dispensary to provide parking for its customers;
- Deny access to all children under any circumstance; and
- Require each medical marijuana dispensary to test and analyze medical marijuana for pesticides and toxins."
Who supports it: Pot shops that wouldn't make the cut under Prop. D, Retired Deputy Chief of Police Stephen Downing, retired LA County Sheriff's Detective Nick Morrow
From the con side: "This ordinance will increase the proliferation of illegal pot shops across Los Angeles. It won't overturn Federal law which prohibits the sale or possession of marijuana for any reason."
Who opposes it: The same anti-pot-shop peeps.

Initiative Ordinance E
The quick version: Outlaws pot shops opened after September 2007--that's roughly the same 135 as in Prop. D.
What it does: Outlaws pot shops (and redefines them as any collective of six or more people), except for the ones that have been open and registered since September 2007; also requires them to pass yearly background checks and be 1,000 feet from schools and 600 feet from parks and child care facilities (unlike Prop D, it doesn't require that pot shops be any distance apart from one another). Exempts collectives of five or fewer patients/caregivers and "licensed health care facilities and locations/vehicles during the time they are used to deliver medical marijuana to a qualified patient."
Fiscal impact: Same as Prop. D: "Any revenue loss from the decrease in MMCs may be offset by the possible shift of business to the remaining MMCs."
From the pro side: "The official proponents of Initiative Ordinance E have concluded that the Los Angeles City Council-backed Proposition D supports the principles set forth in our Initiative, and there is no longer a need for the voters to support Initiative Ordinance E."
Who supports it: No one, anymore.
From the con side: "This ordinance will increase the proliferation of illegal pot shops across Los Angeles. It won't overturn Federal law which prohibits the sale or possession of marijuana for any reason."
Who opposes it: The same people who oppose Prop. D, anti-pot-shop types.
· Marijuana Dispensaries Archives [Curbed LA]