Concerned by a sharp increase in the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles in a year, Police Chief William Bratton has called for a moratorium on new facilities until strict rules can be adopted governing them, reports the Los Angeles Times. Bratton wants to ban existing dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, parks, and places designated exclusively for the care of children. He wants to limit their hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The establishments are allowed under a 1996 state ballot measure making marijuana available to patients by prescription to relieve pain or nausea.
Bratton said the number of dispensaries increased from four in November 2005 to 98 a year later. He says the proliferation has caused crime problems and “quality-of-life issues for families and communities.” The clinics have spread elsewhere, although Los Angeles has the most, said Joseph Elford of Americans for Safe Access, a group that supports the clinics. San Francisco, with about 30 clinics, has more per capita, or about one per 25,400 residents, while Los Angeles has one dispensary for every 39,200 people.