US CA: Ruling Lets City Shut Pot Clinics

Pubdate: Thu, 13 May 2010
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Orange County Register
Author: Erika I. Ritchie
Cited: Mayor Peter Herzog
Referenced: The Ruling
Bookmark: (Cannabis – California)


LAKE FOREST – A Superior Court judge issued a ruling Wednesday allowing Lake Forest to shut down all medical marijuana dispensaries.

Judge David Chaffee’s ruling is in response to lawsuits filed by Lake Forest seeking a preliminary injunction to stop dispensaries from operating.  The city argued the dispensaries violate zoning laws.

Chaffee agreed, citing two reasons:

.  Cities are legally prohibited from passing land-use ordinances that violate state or federal law.  Marijuana is illegal under federal law, so land-use laws that allow medical marijuana dispensaries would be prohibited.

.  Because the city municipal code does not allow dispensaries, they have to be closed down.

In his ruling, Chaffee wrote: “Defendants are barred from conducting, allowing, permitting, inhabiting, leasing, renting or otherwise granting authority to use properties in the above described manner.”

In September, Lake Forest sued 35 people in the city, including medical marijuana dispensary owners and retail landowners who rented space to them.  Since then, 10 collectives have shut down.  Eleven continue to operate.

Jeffrey Dunn, who is representing Lake Forest, said he believes Chaffee’s ruling could eventually force the closure of all marijuana dispensaries in the state.  For now, because the ruling is a trial court decision, it applies only to Lake Forest, where dispensaries will have to close down immediately unless they get a temporary stay.