Calif. Judge Backs Cannabis Clubs 
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Calif. Judge Backs Cannabis Clubs 
Posted by CN Staff on October 19, 2009 at 19:23:12 PT
By Solomon Moore
Source: New York Times
Los Angeles -- A temporary moratorium on establishing new medical marijuana dispensaries here was ruled invalid by a county judge on Monday, complicating the city’s efforts to crack down on cannabis clubs. The judge, James C. Chalfant of Superior Court, granted an injunction on behalf of Westside Green Oasis, a medical marijuana shop, which had challenged a Los Angeles ordinance that put a moratorium on new dispensaries in 2007. The club, which opened after the City Council halted the establishment of new shops, said the moratorium violated the state’s Compassionate Use Act.
The moratorium was intended as a stopgap measure to give city officials time to establish permanent regulations. State law lets a city impose moratoriums of up to two years while it establishes ordinances governing medical marijuana.The Los Angeles ban in 2007 permitted only 186 marijuana dispensaries. Two years later, hundreds more medical marijuana shops have opened, and the City Council has yet to pass a permanent ordinance governing medical cannabis.“Recently, the city has been trying to enforce its moratorium — writing threatening letters and threatening to fine landlords,” said Robert A. Kahn, a lawyer for Westside Green Oasis and about 20 other medical marijuana shops. “If I can’t reach an agreement with the city attorney, then I will be filing another lawsuit on behalf of the rest of my clients.” David Berger, an assistant city attorney, acknowledged that the moratorium on new dispensaries was procedurally invalid because the City Council tried to establish a 90-day ban instead of a 45-day one allowed by state law. “We would probably not try to enforce the ordinance against other dispensaries because the judge has just said that we can’t do that,” Mr. Berger said.The judge’s final written decision is expected soon. In the meantime, Mr. Kahn and the city attorney will discuss how to apply the ruling to other dispensaries. Carmen Trutanich, the Los Angeles city attorney, has argued that over-the-counter sales of medical cannabis are illegal. Guidelines published by the state attorney general, Jerry Brown, say the law allows for nonprofit sales of medical cannabis. “We can still use state law to enforce, and we still believe that the only legal way to do that is to enforce against the selling of marijuana, as opposed to giving it away as a collective,” Mr. Berger said.At the time of the original ordinance in 2007, there were only about 200 medical marijuana shops. Now, there are more than 800.A version of this article appeared in print on October 20, 2009, on page A21 of the New York edition.Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Solomon MoorePublished: October 19, 2009 - Page A21Copyright: 2009 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on October 20, 2009 at 07:59:17 PT
800 marijuana shops
Los Angeles has over 1,900 CVS pharmacies and nearly 1,000 Walgreens pharmacies.I don't know what other drug store brands may be in that area.
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