SAN LEANDRO — The city has put on hold its plan to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, citing a state appeals court ruling Monday that such bans are not permitted under state law. City Attorney Jayne Williams requested the delay at Monday night’s council meeting, where the council had been scheduled to vote on an ordinance prohibiting dispensaries for a year. San Leandro has a temporary moratorium on dispensaries. On Monday, the 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles County. In its ruling, the court wrote that Los Angeles County’s “total, per se nuisance ban against medical marijuana dispensaries directly contradicts the Legislature’s intent to shield collective or cooperative activity from nuisance abatement ‘solely on the basis’ that it involves distribution of medical marijuana.” Williams told the council Monday, “We will collaborate with the League of California Cities” on how to proceed. “The moratorium is in place until Sept. 30. We will come back before the council” with a recommendation before then, she said. “(The Los Angeles) case held that the county could not adopt a local ordinance under its police power to ban medical marijuana dispensaries that they considered to be public nuisances,” Williams said Friday. “So in that regard, we felt that it was prudent to review that case carefully, make sure that the proposed ordinance that we had presented to the council for consideration was in compliance with that decision and current law,’ she said.
“So we will be coming back to the council on July 16 with a report and analysis of that court decision, which we anticipate will probably be appealed along with the other cases that are currently before the California Supreme Court.” The appeals court ruled Monday that because the state’s medical marijuana laws authorize cooperatives and collectives to grow, store and distribute pot, a lower court judge erred when she cited the 2010 ban in granting the county an injunction against the Alternative Medicinal Cannabis Collective last year. However, the decision does not mean the coast is clear for the Covina dispensary. The Court of Appeal says even though L.A. County can’t outlaw pot shops completely, local lawmakers still can limit where they locate and require them to obtain operating permits and business licenses. Federal prosecutors also have cracked down by moving to seize the building that houses Alternative Medicinal Cannabis. Last month, on a 6-1 vote, the San Leandro City Council had asked the staff to draft an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries until June 30, 2013, with Councilman Jim Prola voting against. The interim measure was intended to allow the city to see what the state and federal governments and other cities do about regulating medical marijuana dispensaries in the coming months. The city staff had recommended a permanent ban. The police department has seized more than 17,627 marijuana plants and 283 pounds of marijuana since 2011. About 85 percent of those were plants grown in San Leandro residential neighborhoods, according to a staff report.
via : Mercury News
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