Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

At least 3 dead in grenade attack in Bujumbura

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Inequality, sexism and the movie industry

Read more

ENCORE!

Sienna Miller on motherhood, her new movies and Cannes glamour

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

After the Fall of Ramadi, Palmyra: Did the West Underestimate the Jihadists?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Migrants and Immigrants: A Global Crisis

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Behind the scenes of French gastronomy

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Protests continue in Burundi as calls mount for election delay

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Burundi: Nkurunziza delays parliamentary polls as clashes continue

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

At least two killed in fresh protests in Bujumbura

Read more

Our Focus programme brings you exclusive reports from around the world. From Monday to Friday at 7.45 am Paris time.

FOCUS

FOCUS

Latest update : 2009-11-05

Los Angeles, a marijuana smokers' heaven

With close to 1000 dispensaries offering diverse strains of medical marijuana, and just as many doctors willing to hand out prescriptions for the drug, Los Angeles has quickly become a marijuana smoker's heaven.

President Obama recently asked federal agents not to waste their time, nor taxpayers' money, on prosecuting marijuana dispensaries and their patients who are in compliance with their state's laws.

In 1996, California approved the “Compassionate Act”, legalising the use of medical marijuana to treat certain ailments, such as insomnia, nausea, depression, arthritis, or other long term illnesses. It also allows for patients to grow a certain quantity of their own pot, but not to sale for profit.

Since then, over the past ten years, California has become the largest pot grower in the Western world. And hundreds of dispensaries opened up across the State to deliver the drug to patients. In LA for instance, the Los Angeles Times has counted up to 1000 dispensaries - five times the number of coffee shops in Amsterdam.

Two years ago the city tried to impose a moratorium in order to halt this phenomenon, but lawyers found a loophole and hundreds of new dispensaries jumped the band wagon.

Strapped for cash, and in the face of one its worst financial crises, the city is also caught up in a legal quagmire over medical marijuana. But city officials refuse to give up, and they say they’re working on a new ordinance which should help them shut many of the new dispensaries outlets.

By Gallagher Fenwick

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-05-22 Ireland

Ireland votes in world's first referendum on same-sex marriage

A world first in Ireland as it asks the population to vote in referendum to allow same-sex marriage. All Ireland's political parties are lined up behind a "Yes" vote while most...

Read more

2015-05-21 France

Mother of French terror victim seeks to open minds

Latifa Ibn Ziaten is the mother of one of the seven people killed by Mohamed Merah, the "Toulouse gunman", in 2011. After the tragedy, this grieving mother created an NGO named...

Read more

2015-05-20 Martinique

French overseas territories: Army helps young people get on career ladder

The Adapted Military Service Regiment was created 50 years ago in Martinique, well before the end of conscription in France. It currently only exists in France's overseas...

Read more

2015-05-19 demonstrations

Tunisia: Protesters urge government to do more for economy

In Tunisia, the new government is still trying to sort out an economy in crisis. Worst affected are the inland regions, neglected under the former dictatorships, and at the...

Read more

2015-05-18 Japan

Japan's pacifism under threat

Japan has just held its first international arms fair, something that was almost unthinkable before conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in December 2012. The...

Read more