Cities Can Ban Medical Marijuana Shops
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED May. 6, 2013
The California Supreme Court says cities have the right to ban medical marijuana collectives.
This could impact anyone who uses medical marijuana.
The city of Rancho Mirage recently banned medical marijuana shops.
Some of those shops claimed they had a right to sell pot after voters approved medicinal marijuana.
Monday, the State Supreme Court handed down the ruling that cities can ban them.
After the cannabis plant flowers, many people use the buds for medical purposes.
"Because it is beneficial to my back which is very painful, and it feels better afterwards," said Palm Springs resident, Patricia Houldson.
Palm Springs is the only city in the valley that licenses medical marijuana shops.
"This is medicine for a lot of us, I mean I'm a cancer survivor," said Joe.
At Organic Solutions of the Desert they serve nearly 5,000 patients, they're one of only three licensed collectives in the city of Palm Springs.
"It's unfortunate that the courts decided to rule this way, I believe they should be allowed to have at least one licensed facility where their local residents can go in," said Organic Solutions of the Desert President, Jim Camper.
This ruling doesn't affect them, but it does many other shops in the desert.
Steve Quintanilla's law firm represents Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City; they all have bans on pot shops.
Quintanilla says this ruling validates their ban,
"Cities that have bans in place that were somewhat hesitant pursuing their bans through enforcement are now going to do that knowing that the Supreme Court has ruled on the decision," said Quintanilla.
He says another side effect may be that more cities enact bans, or other may decide to allow just a few dispensaries.
Most medical marijuana users didn't want to go on camera but some say the ban is bad news while others say it protects the patients.
"I think it's a good thing to be regulated, like the other drugs you know, so it certainly has my vote," said Joe.
We also spoke on the phone with the collective in Riverside where this case began.
They say they are not looking to re-open elsewhere, and they told me this leaves thousands of their patients having to either grow their own medical marijuana or buy it on the street.