VICTORVILLE, CA• A medical marijuana dispensary is suing the city, asking Victorville to strike down its ordinance prohibiting marijuana dispensaries. Meanwhile, Councilwoman Angela Valles suggested the city crack down harder on these dispensaries. The council will discuss Tuesday whether to increase fines and give code enforcement more authority to shut down illegal medical marijuana dispensaries. Jason Ryan Thompson, attorney representing High Desert Herbal Therapy, said it would be premature for the city to try to shut these dispensaries down because the California Supreme Court may rule on legality of medical marijuana dispensaries within a year. The city could then end up spending huge litigation fees, he said. High Desert Herbal Therapy began operating in the 15000 block of Seventh Street in September. The city notified the dispensary of the code violation in February and issued a $400 citation in May, according to the complaint. High Desert Herbal Therapy filed the lawsuit in Victorville Superior Court after the city declined to issue a permit to run the dispensary. Thompson said he will ask the court next week for a temporary restraining order against the city. The city code bans people “to establish, maintain, or operate a medical marijuana dispensary” unless it’s a state licensed clinic. But the state doesn’t issue a license to medical marijuana dispensary, so the city virtually bans any dispensary, Thompson said. He said the ordinance conflicts with state and federal law including California’s Compassionate Use Act, which allows personal medical use of marijuana. California Court of Appeals recently invalidated a ban on dispensaries in Los Angeles County. The court ruled that medical marijuana dispensaries are protected under state law. The League of California Cities is advising the members not to take aggressive actions on medical marijuana dispensaries until the Supreme Court makes a ruling because legal fees could be wasted, city officials said during a council meeting. The City Council will discuss the lawsuit during closed session starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The increased enforcement is on the agenda for the public meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. in Victorville City Hall.
via : High Desert Daily Press
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