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California Court: Local Governments Can Outlaw Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


The California Supreme Court on Monday ruled local governments can outlaw medical marijuana dispensaries, according to Reuters. The court upheld a ban the city of Riverside enacted in 2010.

Nothing in the state’s law preempts local governments from using their authority to “allow, restrict, limit, or entirely exclude facilities that distribute medical marijuana,” the court ruled. Riverside’s attorney argued California’s medical marijuana law did not weaken local government’s ability to regulate land use.

California was the first state to allow medical marijuana 17 years ago. More than 180 cities and counties in the state have instituted bans on dispensaries, the article notes.

In 2011, some medical marijuana shops in California began closing down, after receiving letters from federal prosecutors threatening their landlords with legal action. Four U.S. attorneys said they would prosecute landlords who rent space to operators of medical marijuana dispensaries. The landlords were threatened with criminal charges or seizure of their assets.

1 Response to this article

  1. jboside / May 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    There are over 200 municipalities with bans in place in California.

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