CA Appeals Court Says No to Dispensary Bans
On Monday a three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in California upheld the legality of medical marijuana dispensaries and rejected bans imposed by municipalities on dispensaries.
The ruling reverses a preliminary injunction granted to the county by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ann Jones in May 2011.
"Los Angeles County's total, per se nuisance ban against medical marijuana dispensaries directly contradicts the legislature's intent," Justice Robert Mallano wrote in the 19-page unanimous decision.
This ruling, unless overturned by the California Supreme Court, has major implications for medical marijuana patients all over the state. It upholds safe access for those who do not rely solely on growing their own.
"The court of appeal could not have been clearer in expressing that medical marijuana dispensaries are legal under state law, and that municipalities have no right to ban them," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel of the medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access. "This landmark decision should have a considerable impact on how the California Supreme Court rules in the various dispensary cases it's currently reviewing."
The ruling also presents a major roadblock in the way of plans to ban dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles, something that affects tens of thousands of patients. On July 24th, the city of Los Angeles is scheduled to vote on a dispensary ban similar to the one enacted by the County; the one just rejected by the court.
The court’s decision will have a major impact on the way officials and politicians in California address the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries, and they will be thinking of other ways to solve whatever “problems” they see with them with something other than outright bans.
The feds continue their crackdown in the CA, but momentum seems to be shifting on a state level back to patients.
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