Riverside County Dispensaries, Others Come Under Fire For Medical Marijuana

The Associated Press recently reported that many states, including California, have had to deal with conflicts because while voters have sought and lawmakers have approved medical marijuana, the laws have given individual communities the right to lock them out or shut them down.

Such has been the case recently in Riverside County, where authorities continue to try to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries despite the state law legalizing them. We recently reported on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog the struggles these business owners are having.
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But it has been a difficult road for those involved with medical marijuana in California because of the backlash that some people have displayed on this industry. There has been pressure from federal prosecutors, who have threatened to file criminal charges against those involved in the industry.

Even though it’s legal to run these businesses in California after getting clearance from local and state officials, the threat of criminal charges and jail or prison time has done unending damage. Many landlords have threatened to kick out medical marijuana dispensaries after they were told by law enforcement that they could face charges for harboring criminals.

These threats worked. Many landlords who rented space to people who were legally operating these businesses succumbed to the pressure and quickly kicked them out, even in cases where leases were in place. This caused medical marijuana dispensaries to lose money and business, requiring they find a new office as well as reconnect with their customer base.

On top of that, many people had to pay more for rent the second time because in order to take the risk of prosecution, some renters used that threat as a way to jack up rental fees. Everyone’s looking to make a buck.

As the Associated Press reports, not only have landlords taken these threats to heart, but so have local lawmakers. After the threat of prosecution and the reminder that California’s state laws and the federal government’s drug laws vary, some local politicians began putting pressure on local medical marijuana businesses.

As the article states, statewide, there are 185 cities and counties that have banned dispensaries entirely. In other states, including Colorado, New Jersey and Maine, honest businessmen and businesswomen have struggled to run their businesses while finding governments that are willing to let them in.

Sadly, local leaders believe this is going to solve the problem of illegal marijuana use. But, actually, it’s hurting their cause. For many patients who have the legal right to use marijuana, they are turning to the black market to get their medicine of choice.

The story reports that 60 governments in California have local rules for dispensaries, including where they can be located. A 2003 law left much of the power for this industry up to local leaders. Medical marijuana supporters believe that many cities have used this power to essentially ban dispensaries, despite the law in place on the state level.

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

More Blog Entries:

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Riverside County Require Legal Representation: December 19, 2011
Additional Resources:

Many US communities are blocking medical marijuana, by Geoff Mulvihill, the Associated Press