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Police: Follow Marijuana Dispensary Laws or Face Closure

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By Kamika Dunlap on June 10, 2010 11:15 AM

LA pot shops are being told they must follow the city's new marijuana dispensary laws or face closure.

The City of Los Angeles is keeping its word to go after hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries it calls illegal and police will begin cracking down on clinics that are not in compliance with the marijuana dispensary laws, Associated Press reports.

City officials have begun take tally of those medical marijuana dispensaries refusing to close in defiance of a new ordinance because the deadline has arrived for illegal medical marijuana dispensaries to shut down or possible civil fines or criminal charges.

City prosecutors released a list of 439 medical marijuana dispensaries that must close, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Shops who illegally sell medical marijuana in Los Angeles could face daily fines, a $1,000 penalty and six months in jail.

But the process for authorities to identify which pot shops are operating illegally (excluding shops that are permitted to stay open because they registered before a 2007 moratorium) could take up to several weeks.

Some residents say they are looking forward to removing medical dispensaries from their neighborhood. Thanks to the new marijuana dispensary laws, their neighborhood will no longer be blemished by the pot clinics, residents said.

As previously discussed, the new ordinance caps the number of medical marijuana clinics in the city at 70. It also includes a 1,000 foot buffer zone from schools, parks and other public gathering spots.

About 137 eligible dispensaries have six months to comply. Those dispensaries also must pay more than $1,000 in administrative fees.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and other prosecutors have taken a hard-line stance that state law authorizes the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes, but not the sale of the drug.

He has targeted hundreds of medical pot shops that profit and sell to people who don't qualify for medical marijuana.

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