Friday
April
18
2014
2:15 pm
Weather
  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

State's high court: California cities can ban pot shops
May 06, 2013, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — California cities and counties can ban pot shops, the state's highest court ruled Monday in a unanimous opinion likely to further diminish California's once-robust medical marijuana industry.

The California Supreme Court said neither the state's voter-approved law legalizing medical marijuana nor a companion measure adopted by the Legislature prevent local governments from using their land use and zoning powers to prohibit storefront dispensaries.

The ruling came in a legal challenge to a ban enacted by the city of Riverside in 2010.

"While some counties and cities might consider themselves well-suited to accommodating medical marijuana dispensaries, conditions in other communities might lead to the reasonable decision that such facilities within their borders, even if carefully sited, well managed, and closely monitored, would present unacceptable local risks and burdens," Justice Marvin Baxter wrote for the seven-member court.

The advocacy group Americans for Safe Access estimates another 200 jurisdictions statewide have similar prohibitions on retail pot sales. Many were enacted after the number of retail medical marijuana outlets boomed in Southern California after a 2009 memo from the U.S. Justice Department said prosecuting pot sales would be a low priority.

However, the rush to outlaw pot shops has slowed in the 21 months since the four federal prosecutors in California launched a coordinated crackdown on dispensaries by threatening to seize the property of landlords who lease space to the shops. Hundreds of dispensary operators have since been evicted or closed voluntarily.

Marijuana advocates have argued that allowing local governments to bar dispensaries thwarts the intent of the state's medical marijuana law — the nation's first — to make the drug accessible to residents with doctor's recommendations to use it.

Riverside city lawmakers used their zoning authority to declare storefront pot shops as public nuisances and ban the operations in 2010. The Inland Empire Patient's Health and Wellness Center, part of the explosion of retail medical marijuana outlets, sued to stop the city from shutting it down.

A number of counties and cities were awaiting the Supreme Court ruling before moving forward with bans of their own.

A mid-level appeals court previously sided with the city of Riverside, but other courts have come to opposite conclusions. Last summer, a trial judge ruled that Riverside County could not close medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas because the move did not give the shops any room to operate legally under state law.

Meanwhile, an appeals court in Southern California struck down Los Angeles County's 2-year-old ban on dispensaries, ruling state law allows cooperatives and collectives to grow, store and distribute pot.

The Supreme Court's decision might not be the last word on the issue, however. Pending legislation would establish a new statewide system for regulating and licensing the medical marijuana industry and clarify the role of dispensaries in it.

Activists also are in the early stages of planning a ballot initiative that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana and regulate it like alcohol, as voters in Washington and Colorado did last year.

 

 

Tags: marijuana, medical, court, dispensaries, california, state, medical marijuana industry, medical marijuana, california supreme court


Other stories from today:

White House: Assad likely behind chemical arms use
Bashful? Buy the little blue pill online
State's high court: California cities can ban pot shops
 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
What does the Easter bunny do when he visits your house?

Leave baskets for the kids
Hide eggs
Leave healthy treats
Hasn't been to my house in years

 

 
Tabbed Structure - Regular
 
 
 
 
 
Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
ACAPULCO, Mexico — A powerful, magnitude-7.5 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Frida..
Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12
KATMANDU, Nepal — An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing ..
Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings
DONETSK, Ukraine — Dashing hopes of progress raised by a diplomatic deal in Geneva, pro-Russian in..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County blogs