Qualified Patients v. City of Anaheim: Struggle for Medical Marijuana Rights Continues

In a rare victory for a municipality in the struggle over medical marijuana rights in Los Angeles and throughout the Southern California area, a judge ruled that Anaheim’s medical marijuana ban is constitutional.

Anaheim medical marijuana attorneys continue to fight for the rights of collectives, dispensaries, patients and growers. In many cases, those businesses that have fought for their rights have survived and thrived. The CANNABIS LAW GROUP represents more than a dozen dispensaries throughout the Los Angeles area. 734275_cannabis.jpg

In this case, Judge Chaffe relied upon his interpretation of “mass distribution,” saying the state’s medical marijuana laws permit collective cultivation but not mass distribution. He ruled, therefore, that Anaheim was within its rights in establishing a ban aimed at preventing mass distribution.

In a victory for patients, the judge did rule against the criminal sanctions portion of the ban, saying state law provides qualified patients with a defense against criminal marijuana charges.

Some cities and attorneys could view this as a victory and a precedence for establishing local bans. Our Medical marijuana dispensary lawyers in Anaheim and L.A. think that would be a mistake. This case is likely going straight to the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Many times, local judges simply make mistakes. They fail to rule against the established powers that be in their area. They side with the prosecution too easily in criminal cases. They side with local government in civil issues. It often takes an appeals court to strictly apply the law.

A better approach would be to follow the example of Garden Grove, which has replaced its ban with a registration and grandfather process.

The Orange County Register reports dispensaries have until Sept. 23 to register with the city and pay a $200 fee.

Twenty-three cities in Orange County spent more than they collected last year. Public safety costs, pension costs and plummeting revenues continue to push cities into the red. Anaheim cut $5 million from police and fire budgets. Still, it’s trying to force legitimate businesses to close rather than seeing them as a legitimate source of revenue and a partner in rebuilding the city’s economy.

In fact, Anaheim has nearly $800 million in debts for retirement and medical benefits — the highest tally of any city in Orange County.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California– including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Qualified Patients vs City of Anaheim.pdf