|Mark Zaleski/Riverside Press-Enterprise|
|Medical marijuana patient Abel Chapa demonstrates in front of Riverside 4th District Court of Appeal as arguments are heard in two medical marijuana dispensary ban cases, one in Riverside and one in Upland|
In a decision that could have immediate effects, California cities and counties can ban medical marijuana dispensaries within their borders, a state appeals court has ruled.
Other courts have upheld local governments’ authority to restrict and zone the locations of the shops, or even declare temporary moratoriums, but Wednesday’s ruling, in a Riverside case, was the first to address a citywide ban, reports Bob Egelko at the San Francisco Chronicle.
The issue has made its way through the California courts for years, but the opinion issued Wednesday is the first one that directly addresses the issue in unambiguous language, reports John Hoeffel at the Los Angeles Times. The decision upholding Riverside’s dispensary ban will likely result in more cities and counties prohibiting the pot shops.