City of Los Angeles BLOWS IT, AGAIN, as they can't get their act together because they are too vindictive and reach for too much and try to go too far, and it ALWAYS BACKFIRES. They let the medical marijuana moratorium expire and STILL do not have any rules and regulations in place. WHAT ARE YOU DUMB, LAZY, NON-MOTIVATED AND INEPT IDIOTS AT CITY HALL GETTING PAID FOR? CAN YOU INCOMPETENT NINCOMPOOPS COME UP WITH ANYTHING? CAN YOU GET ONE GOSH DAMN THING ACCOMPLISHED? And now, after all of Dennis Zine's huffing and puffing and posturing and propoganda and lack of facts -- HE'S STANDING THERE IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS WITH EGG ALL OVER HIS FACE. Now sit down, Dennis. You're done. That was your big thing and it's over. Go clean some graffiti. It's all over your district like the worst "hood."
A Superior Court judge concluded today that Los Angeles' moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries is invalid and granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ban sought by a dispensary that had sued the city.
Judge James C. Chalfant determined that the city failed to follow state law when it extended its initial moratorium. "The city cannot rely on an expired ordinance," he said.
Green Oasis and a number of other medical marijuana collectives sued the city last month, challenging its efforts to control the dispensaries. The lawsuit argued that the City Council violated state law when it extended the ban until mid-March and that it is unconstitutionally vague.
Although the injunction applies only to Green Oasis, the judge's ruling calls into question the city's power to enforce the moratorium against hundreds of dispensaries that have opened in the last two years. The ruling could inspire other dispensaries to join the lawsuit or file similar actions.
Despite the moratorium, the city has seen explosive growth in the number of dispensaries. Under the ban, the city allowed 186 outlets to remain open. Many more – the exact number is unknown – are operating in neighborhoods across the city, and more continue to open.
In its answer to the lawsuit, the city argued that the moratorium is not subject to the conditions and limitations of state law because it is not an ordinance dealing with zoning, but with public safety. Zoning ordinances cannot be extended beyond 24 months. The city adopted the first of two moratoriums on Aug. 1, 2007.
The judge rejected that argument.
The city also argued that a decision to issue an injunction would cause "grave irreparable harm." "This lawsuit is not just about one 'bad apple.' It is about illegally dealing marijuana," the city's answer said. "Hundreds of unlawful marijuana stores have cropped up throughout the City and will likely attempt to bootstrap their illegal operation on the outcome of this action."
[Unless you prove they are operating illegally under state law, the only reason they were illegal is because they opened up during the ban, which we now find out wasn't a real ban. So it looks like any collective operating compliantly under STATE law, is no longer illegal. So try to put some regulations in place so you can start to inspect each collective, the way a health inspector checks restaurants.]
Jeri Burge, an assistant city attorney, told the judge this morning that granting the injunction would "reward illegal conduct."
"You're going to open the floodgates," she said.
[NO, NO, NO!!! YOU NEVER CLOSED THEM! STOP SPINNING AND POINTING THE FINGER. AND LISTEN TO ZUMA DOGG SING "MAN IN THE MIRROR" WHICH IS WHERE YOU SHOULD START -- AND MAKE THAT CHANGE!]
Robert A. Kahn, an attorney for Green Oasis, argued that the dispensary did nothing wrong, noting that, under state law, the moratorium expired 45 days after it was first enacted. "The did not believe they were violating the law," he said.
The L.A. City Council has struggled for more than two years to write a permanent ordinance to replace the temporary ban.
Dan Lutz, a co-owner of Green Oasis and president of the collective association, filed the lawsuit after the council voted to shut down his dispensary, which opened in May.
Lutz, like hundreds of other dispensary owners in Los Angeles, had filed a request with the council for an exemption from the moratorium so he could operate, but opened without permission. The council failed to act on these requests until June, an oversight that prevented city officials from taking legal steps to close the dispensaries.
-- John Hoeffel at L.A. Superior Court
Obama administration issues new policy on medical marijuana
By Carrie Johnson
The Obama administration delivered new guidance on medical marijuana to federal prosecutors Monday, signaling a broad policy shift that will mean fewer crackdowns against dispensaries and the people who use them.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. instructed government lawyers that in 14 states where medical marijuana use is legal, federal prosecutors should focus only on cases involving higher level drug traffickers or people who use the state laws as a cover story.
"It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal," Holder said. "This balanced policy formalizes a sensible approach that the Department has been following since January: effectively focus our resources on serious drug traffickers while taking into account state and local laws."