As most of California is making it easier to get marijuana, the cities of Los Angeles's South Bay are moving fast to shut down even legal weed sales and use. In anticipation of state legislators' plans to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, several South Bay cities—which seem to be in deep opposition to weed in all its forms—are mounting an offensive of "sweeping bans on every kind of marijuana dispensary and delivery service, cultivation and manufacturing process," reports the Daily Breeze.
Although sales were already banned years ago "across the South Bay," new weed prohibitions are sweeping the area like wildfire: five cities in the region have already put strict anti-marijuana laws in place (Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne, Lawndale and Gardena) and three more (Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, and Rancho Palos Verdes) are on the verge of doing the same. In passing their ban, Torrance officials cited "offensive odors, illegal sales and distribution of marijuana, trespassing, theft, robberies, and robbery attempts, fire hazards, unpermitted construction, and problems associated with mold, fungus and pests." In Manhattan Beach, the city council voted unanimously against marijuana retailers, as well as growing weed for personal or commercial use, even though three people came to the meeting to speak in favor of allowing certain weed uses (including a woman whose daughter gets a weed-based oil via delivery that stops her "life-threatening seizures"), and despite the recommendation of the city's own Planning Commission that residents with marijuana prescriptions be able to grow up to 12 plants in their homes.
But apparently this all just to prove the point that the cities want to make their own calls about weed (which is still illegal in the eyes of the federal government), not just follow the state's lead. "Regardless of where your city is on this issue, most people want to set their own rules in their community," says a rep for the League of California Cities.
Ultimately, all the bans might not mean too much will change. The DB notes "The recent bans [across the South Bay] were passed with only a few letters and voices of opposition, possibly because many marijuana dispensaries and delivery services operate illegally across the South Bay anyway."
· South Bay cities take hard line on marijuana as state loosens laws [DB]