LOS ANGELES—Californian voters approved Proposition 64 in November 2016 making it legal to own and grow small amounts of marijuana for recreational purposes. The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Narcotics Bureau are shutting down illegal shops that are operating without a permit.
Proposition 64 allows individuals above 21 or older to legally possess 1 ounce of pot and grow up to six plants, while businesses must have a license to sell marijuana. The state permits will not roll out until January 2018. According to reports, some marijuana shops have informed customer’s that no doctor’s prescription is needed to purchase marijuana.
“They’re still trying to at least package it as if it is some sort of medicine,” one law-enforcement official told ABC 7 News.
James Wolack, Narcotics Bureau’s Captain informed ABC 7 that Proposition 64 has not had its intended effect. He added that by passing the legislation, the burden on law enforcement actually increased instead of reducing it.
Sheriff’s Lieutenant Anthony Baudino informed ABC 7 that these illegal businesses open their shops in strip malls, nearby schools and in between other businesses. He added that these illegal shops are only a harm to the community and just create additional problems.
Law enforcement officials feel that a daily fine of $1,500 might help shut-down illegal dispensaries.