Shutting down illegal pot shops across Los Angeles has been a constant struggle for the Los Angeles City Council, due in no small part to enforcement’s price tag. Budgetary increases for illegal cannabis enforcement could go from around $3 million this year to around $30 million in the next city budget, Mayor Eric Garcetti said last month.
However, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez has a plan to cover the expenses. On Friday, she introduced a motion to the City Council asking the City Attorney to draft an ordinance enabling city agencies to assess property owners and businesses for the costs utility disconnection and other efforts against illegal cannabis dispensaries.
“Our taxpayers should not be the ones to bear the costs associated with enforcement and I look forward to bringing this policy citywide to ensure that those engaging in illegal commercial cannabis activity be brought to justice,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez, who chairs the City’s Public Safety Committee, noted that property owners are already billed for public safety actions such as brush fire hazard abatement, and said that illegal pot poses the same magnitude of threat to Angelenos.