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LA county extends marijuana ban

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles (LA) County Board of Supervisors declared an extension on the ban of cultivating, manufacturing, processing, testing, transporting and retailing of medical and non-medical marijuana in standalone areas till an extensive regulatory system is established. The board has also directed lawyers to work closely with the district attorney to help shut down 70 illegally functioning dispensaries in the unincorporated areas.

The purpose of drafting regulations regarding marijuana use is to safeguard public interest and to facilitate the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry. The state and multiple municipalities have been struggling for a long period regarding the specifics about the legalization of this illegal drug. Though the state has time till Jan. 1, 2018 to set the regulations in place, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl has expressed her doubts.

While the supervisors are worried about getting the regulations in place in time, Joe Nicchitta, chief executive officer of Office of Marijuana Management has voiced different concerns. As marijuana sales are made using cash, it makes it difficult for the tax officers to handle physical money. It is also to be noted that the presence of cash in marijuana dispensaries often makes them susceptible to violent robberies.

Hilda Solis and Mark Ridley-Thomas, two of the district supervisors, raised concerns about the number of dispensaries in their districts. Thomas stated that citizens from his district were not very keen on having marijuana businesses established near their parks, homes, and schools. Thomas also added that he, along with some of his colleagues, would make sure that the brunt of marijuana legalization is not felt by the low-income groups only.

Hilda Solis added that the forty dispensaries that are already established in the first district of LA county would remain as long as the ban is in place. Even though the people of the state voted in favor of legalizing marijuana, Supervisor Kuehl feels that a proper ban might be successful in shutting down the cannabis black market.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger is also strongly advocating the extension of the ban as she is particularly worried about young people abusing marijuana.

The LA county can permanently ban cannabis, however, considering the voting in favor of legalization of cannabis, the supervisory board members feel that it would be better to implement thoughtful regulations. The extensive regulatory roadmap was proposed by Supervisor Kuehl and Supervisor Barger, stressing the fact that only the best practices from Oregon, Washington and Colorado, where the drug stands approved, must be adopted.

The road ahead

Though the November 2016 ballot in some states took the overall number of American states legalizing either recreational, medical, or both variants of marijuana to 29, it is still classified as a Schedule I drug under federal law. Placed alongside lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and heroin, marijuana is the most abused substance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Marijuana abuse has both short-term and long-term side effects. Its short-term effects include mood fluctuations, altered memory, impaired body movements, and the likes. On the other hand, the long-term effects of prolonged cannabis use comprise of impaired brain functions and potential risk of developing opiate abuse.

If you or a loved one is addicted to marijuana or any other substance, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline to get access to our state-of-the-art addiction rehab centers. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 to get enrolled in one of our drug rehab centers. You can also chat online for more information about our evidence-based treatment programs customized to your needs at our substance abuse treatment centers.

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