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CA: Long Beach Wins Lawsuit Filed Over Ban On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
Long Beach officials announced this morning they have prevailed in a lawsuit filed four years ago challenging the city's ban on medical marijuana dispensaries on the grounds the ban violated the rights of those with disabilities.

The decision, handed down July 12 by the Court of Appeal, isn't surprising, said Matthew Pappas, the attorney who filed the case. Pappas, who has worked on behalf of medial marijuana patients for several years and is behind a number of ballot initiatives to regulate dispensaries, said this is an old case filed before the California Supreme Court rule in 2013 that cities have a right to ban the sale of marijuana.

"Since then we've moved from litigation to working from the political side to get legislation passed from the cities," Pappas said in an interview this morning.

Voters in several cities, including Long Beach, Signal Hill and Avalon, will vote this November on initiatives that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries and regulate the sale of cannabis. Statewide, voters will also decide whether to allow recreational use of marijuana.

In the 43-page complaint, Pappas alleged in the class-action suit that Long Beach violated the rights of those suffering from physical or mental disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The plaintiffs alleged that the city infringed on the vested property rights of dispensary owners, violating their 5th Amendment rights. The suit also claimed that the city interfered with established dispensaries, and violated federal or state laws, by threats, intimidation, or coercion.

The Court of Appeal rejected all of their claims, according to the city.

The Court of Appeal based its decision on the ground that the California statutes establishing the personal use of medical marijuana did not also establish substantive rights to establish dispensaries.

The court stated that "simply put, there is no federal or state law granting plaintiffs the right to lease property to operate a marijuana collective, so defendants could not have interfered with any such right."

The case on behalf of the city was argued by Deputy District Attorney Ted Zinger.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Long Beach Wins Lawsuit Filed Over Ban On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Author: Melissa Evans
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