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Court Decision On Pot Shop Coming


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
A court on Friday took up the city's bid to close a medical marijuana dispensary that opened before the City Council decides how to regulate the drug's sale, saying it could rule on the case as early as next week.

Thomas Brown, a lawyer for the city, said at a brief hearing in San Joaquin County Superior Court that Pathways Family Health Cooperative Counseling, on East Acacia Street, is a nuisance operating without city approval. To let Pathways and businesses like it stay open "would be utter chaos," he said.

Robert Shantz, a lawyer for Pathways, said city planning standards do not prohibit dispensaries. He said there have been no police calls or other incidents at Pathways and that closing it would harm hundreds of medical marijuana users.

Judge K. Peter Saiers said he could rule on the city's request for an injunction "hopefully within a week."

Pathways' opening in November forced city officials to reconsider medical marijuana, a matter they last took up - and largely abandoned - in 2005. The council has indicated it is likely in June to adopt policies sanctioning dispensaries but limiting their number and location.

Pathways and at least two other dispensaries opened ahead of council hearings on the matter. The city is seeking court orders to close two of them, Pathways and a Pershing Avenue dispensary, California Opathic Patient Association. A third dispensary closed voluntarily.

In court papers, the city has said dispensaries are not allowed because they are not explicitly permitted by code. Pathways has said many business types are not explicitly permitted but that the city allows them.

Pathways' director, Lynn Smith, told a lawyer in the courtroom before Friday's hearing, "To me, if they didn't want one here, they should have had a ban in place."

A judge is scheduled to consider the case against California Opathic Patient Association on May 12.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Recordnet.com
Author: David Siders
Contact: Recordnet.com
Copyright: 2010 San Joaquin Media Group, a division of Dow Jones Local Media Group
Website: Court decision on pot shop coming
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