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Court Rejects Challenge to Anaheim Medical Marijuana Ban


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A judge has tossed out a challenge to Anaheim's law against medical-marijuana dispensaries, believed to be the first such lawsuit in Orange County. The Qualified Patients Association, the medical-marijuana advocacy group that filed the lawsuit, plans to appeal Wednesday's Orange County Superior Court ruling, said Tony Curiale, the association's attorney. "We believe the law is on our side," Curiale said. "We'll appeal the case and let the court of appeals determine whether or not the judge in our case made the correct ruling."

Countywide, 21 cities have banned dispensaries, at least on a temporary basis. Some local cities were watching the Anaheim court case as a possible precedent. In September, the association sued Anaheim to block its law forbidding marijuana outlets, saying the ordinance conflicts with a state voter-approved proposition allowing marijuana to be used by patients who have doctors' permission to take it for medical reasons. However, federal law still outlaws marijuana possession in most cases.

Judge David Chaffee's ruling this week states that the court has "no ability or authority" to allow the association to issue marijuana. "This case joins a long list of cases that attempt to circumvent federal drug law to make legal the sale and/or dispensing of this illegal drug," the ruling states.

Deputy City Attorney Moses Johnson said he is pleased with the ruling. "We believe the court has given detailed reasons why the city's ordinance is proper," Johnson said. "We think we can defend this ruling on

The association has closed its shop on a major Anaheim street, but kept the lease in a strip mall in hopes that the court would rule in its favor.

Source: The Orange County Register
Copyright: 2008 The Orange County Register
Contact: marvinchavezsr@roadrunner.com
Website: California NORML
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