California Patients Challenge Marijuana Restrictions


Photo: LAist

‚ÄčMedical marijuana patients say a Los Angeles ordinance violates state law and will unconstitutionally restrict their safe access to the medicine. The patients are filing a class action in California Superior Court.

L.A.’s new medical pot ordinance will cap the number of marijuana dispensaries at 70, but about 187 shops that registered with the city before November 13, 2007 will be allowed to continue operating, reports June Williams at Courthouse News Service.
“The effect of this ordinance will be to eliminate most, if not all, of the dispensing operations currently providing patients with their medicine,” the complaint reads. “Additionally, the cap of 70 is arbitrary and unreasonable given patient per capita allocations, particularly when compared to pharmacies, which have no such cap.”
“Though the city states in its findings that it desires to protect the impact of these operations on the city’s neighborhoods, the net effect of the restrictions will be to create mega-collective dispensaries that will have a greater impact on neighborhoods,” according to the complaint.

Medical marijuana advocates say the law has unconstitutional provisions, including requirements that dispensaries must consent to inspections of all receipts; provide security footage to police “upon request”; provide names, addresses and phone numbers of patients; be at least 1,000 feet from so-called “sensitive uses,” including schools, public parks, public libraries, religious institutions, licensed child care facilities, youth centers, substance abuse rehab centers or any other dispensary; and that a licensed security guard must patrol in a two-block radius.
The patients say they want the law declared unconstitutional and void on associational, equal protection, due process and privacy grounds under the California Constitution.
The complaint was filed by Matthew Kumin with Kumin Sommers of San Francisco.