Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban Upheld in Riverside; the Fight Continues

A recent move by the state appellate court upheld the citywide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Riverside, according to The Press-Enterprise. The court believed that there was nothing listed in Legislature’s Medical Marijuana Program or in California’s Compassionate Use Act, or Proposition 215, which was passed back in 1996, specifically stated that government wasn’t able to ban these facilities.
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The fight continues. Those in power don’t like it when voters take the law into their own hands. Medical marijuana rights were conferred by a vote of the people. Our marijuana dispensary advocates do not believe bureaucrats have any right to infringe upon those rights. But that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a fight.

“The CUA and the MMP do not provide individuals with inalienable rights to establish, operate or use (medical marijuana dispensaries).” said Associate Justice Carol Codrington. He adds that state statutes don’t stop local governments from setting regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries through their own zoning ordinances.

Our Orange County medical marijuana lawyers understand that there are other dispensaries in the area, 15 to be exact, which will be receiving notices from the city asking them to voluntarily shut their doors. If these dispensaries don’t close up shop, city officials say that it will issue court orders to have them closed down.

A City Attorney for Riverside, Greg Priamos, says that the City Council and the city both have the right to determine what appropriate uses for land may be. Thus, he believes that the city has the right to shut down any business it desires.

This opinion has already been published; the Fourth District covers the appellate jurisdiction of San Bernardino, Inyo and Riverside Counties.

The case had already been heard in front of a three judges earlier this month.

These three judges were the deciding factor in this continuance of this complete ban and of the San Bernardino County’s total ban.

G3 Holistic Inc., the Wellness Center Inc. for Riverside and Inland Empire Patient’s Health were the defendants in the case. In Upland, these companies and other medical marijuana advocates can create a petition and submit it to the state Supreme Court to get it to review their decisions.

Lanny Swerdlow, who is the founder of the Riverside medical marijuana dispensary in question in the case, says he’s planning on appealing this decision. He says they he will be keeping the collective open until the courts require him to shut down. He adds that he is extremely disappointed that the city and the court do not recolonize the needs of his patients and their rights to form collectives.

Many believe that these recent decisions regarding local dispensaries are partially a fault of the federal government. In recent news, the federal government has announced that it will be conducting a nationwide crackdown on the medical marijuana industry. Many parties within the industry are fighting back and are filing suits against the crackdown in an attempt to protect both their company’s rights and the rights of patients.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Orange County and elsewhere throughout Southern California. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:

INLAND: Court upholds Riverside, Upland marijuana dispensary bans, By Richard K. De Atley and Alicia Robinson, the Press-Enterprise
More Blog Entries:

Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Santa Ana Closed by Local Officials, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, November 8, 2011

California Medical Association Gives a Big Thumbs Up to Legalize Medical Marijuana in Los Angeles and Elsewhere, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2011