Los Angeles County officials weigh mass medical marijuana raids

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Some 70 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles County could be shut down this week if local officials decide to target them for raids.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering a proposal to crack down on the dispensaries – which currently are illegal under local laws – as California gears up to implement statewide regulations and oversight on the MMJ and recreational cannabis industries.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been banned in unincorporated areas of the county since 2011, according to L.A. Weekly, but local officials have not aggressively targeted them previously.

During Wednesday’s meeting, county officials are expected to vote on a $25 million plan, proposed by the sheriff’s department, that would target the illegal operations, L.A. Weekly reported. The action could help the board create a fresh start toward a fully legal market.

But marijuana advocates want county officials to provide a path to legalization instead of cracking down on those businesses.

“We’re concerned for the county to take a position that’s enforcement-driven instead of providing a pathway toward licensing and regulation,” Attorney Ariel Clark, chair of the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force, told L.A. Weekly.