The Los Angeles City Council banned medical pot shops Tuesday until the state’s highest court weighs in.
The 14-0 vote drew an angry, profanity-laced response from some medical marijuana advocates who attended the council meeting. Mayor Tony Villar was prepared to sign the ordinance, according to his spokeswoman, Vicki Curry. The storefront ban would then go into effect after 30 days.
In the interim, letters will be sent to as many as 900 dispensaries advising them of the ban.
The city has fumbled with its medical marijuana laws for years, trying to provide safe and affordable access to the drug for legitimate patients while addressing worries by neighborhood groups that streets were being overrun by dispensaries and pot users.
“Relief is on the way,” said Councilman Jose Huizar, who introduced the so-called “gentle ban.”
Many cities have struggled with medical marijuana ordinances, but none has had a bigger problem than Los Angeles, where pot shops have proliferated. At one point, the city ordered closure of the shops — a process that failed amid lawsuits and conflicting rulings by appellate courts.
The ban also allows hospices and home health agencies to provide medical pot.
“A judge could file an injunction but we think that is unlikely,” said Jane Usher, a special assistant city attorney.