California Court to Decide if Local Governments Can Ban Marijuana Dispensaries
The California Supreme Court will soon decide whether local governments can ban marijuana dispensaries, according to the Los Angeles Times. The court will hear arguments on February 5, following years of contradictory decisions by lower courts.
Medical marijuana was approved by California voters 16 years ago, the article notes. Since then, more than 200 local governments have banned the dispensaries. Some legal analysts told the newspaper they expect the court to uphold the bans.
“This is a subject matter that requires detailed regulations, and the California Legislature hasn’t done the job,” Alex Kreit, a law professor who has advised San Diego on medical marijuana law, told the newspaper. Kreit said California legislators have not adopted requirements for state licensing and labeling of marijuana. In contrast, Colorado implemented its medical marijuana law with hundreds of regulations, he said.
Many people anticipate California voters will be asked to decide whether to legalize marijuana on the 2014 ballot, the article notes.
Earlier this month, NBC News reported advocates for two competing medical marijuana measures in Los Angeles had gathered enough signatures to have the initiatives appear on the May ballot. Both measures aim to manage growth of medical marijuana shops. In October, the Los Angeles City Council reversed a ban on medical marijuana shops, which they had passed earlier in the year.