Los Angeles officials are drafting a new proposal to regulate medical marijuana clinics, making it likely that three competing proposals will be placed on the May ballot.
Under the City Council proposal, sent to the City Attorney's Office for drafting, limits would be placed on where medical marijuana facilities can be located, including keeping them 1,000 feet from schools, and a tax of $60 per $1,000 in sales would be imposed.
Officials said it represents an effort to combine the best elements of the two other measures that have already qualified for the May 21 ballot.
"There are two measures on the ballot that we believe are imperfect," Councilman Paul Koretz said. "We believe the best course is to offer a third alternative with revenue raising provisions and sensible controls on operations to insure reasonable access and protect our neighborhoods."
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who admitted to using medical marijuana as part of his cancer treatment, said he believes there needs to be a change in national policy.
"Rather than spending billions on incarceration, that's money that could be used for education," Rosendahl said. "It's ridiculous not to make this legal."
The other two measures were sponsored by different medical marijuana activists. One allows an unlimited number of clinics if they are certain distances from schools, churches and other facilities, and would increase the tax on sales to $60 per $1,000 of sales.
The other measure would allow about 100 clinics that were operating prior to Sept. 14, 2007, when the city put in a moratorium, to remain open.
The third measure would combine elements of both, as well as limits on operating hours and required background checks on employees.
In a separate proposal for the May ballot, the City Council said it wanted Los Angeles voters to weigh in against the Supreme Court decision Citizens United, which allowed unlimited independent campaign spending by corporations.
The proposal, by Councilman Richard Alarcon, is modeled after similar measures approved in other states asking voters to instruct federal officials to draft a law that would overturn the decision.
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