Sunday, June 6, 2010

Can't Stop The Pot: Patients Fight To Stop Los Angeles From Pot-Blocking

Superior Court Judge James Chalfant denied an attempt to stop a city ordinance from shutting down 400+ medical marijuana dispensaries. He just wants Los Angeles to prove their case to do so.

City Council created an ordinance to close the doors of all the pot shops that have popped up across Los Angeles over the past several years. The law would close down over 400 dispensaries and cause roughly 130 others to have six months to meet stringent guidelines if they wished to remain open. This new Law would have gone effective as of Monday.

Not so fast Los Angeles, Attorneys for patients using medical marijuana had filed a class-action lawsuit last week, contending that the law would unconstitutionally bar patients’ access to their medicine. (Word.) Although the law only calls for dispenseries to be removed from areas that are 1000 miles radius from schools and churches, allegedly it is a violation of the rights of citizens that need access.

“I believe access to medical marijuana … is supposed to be limited,” the judge said. “It is not supposed to be freely available on the street to anyone who wants it; that was the intention of the people.”

The class action suit included over 100,000 Los Angeles residents who suffer from illnesses ranging from anxiety and menopause to lupus or AIDS, according to an article written in Los Angeles Times.

Superior Court Judge James Chalfant on Friday ordered attorneys to file additional papers on whether allowing certain dispensaries to remain open while closing others would be a violation of the equal protection clause of the California Constitution.

Hearings for the patients and the dispensaries were set for early July.

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