Pubdate: Thu, 18 Mar 2010
Source: Red Bluff Daily News (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Red Bluff Daily News
Author: Geoff Johnson


CORNING - The attorney for Tehama Herbal Collective  owners Ken and
Kathy Prather intends to fight a medical  marijuana storefront ban by
arguing the city's policy  is unconstitutional.

The Prathers, cited numerous times for operating  without a use permit
and operating a medical marijuana  collective despite a temporary city
ban on medical  marijuana cooperatives and collectives, intend on
continuing the struggle.

"We're just going to keep fighting because we believe  what we're
doing is right," said Megan Prather, the  22-year-old daughter of the

Attorney Bill Panzer said he would be submitting the  collective's
legal defense Wednesday.

Panzer said the defense would revolve around the  difference between
the collective and operations that  sell marijuana for profit.

Suits brought against medical marijuana operations have  succeeded
because those operations were explicitly  commercial and never
supposed to be enabled by Prop.  215, he said.

"In a true patient association, not an over-the-counter  pot store,
but a patient association, basically, people  can get together and do
jointly what they do  individually," Panzer said.

By banning associations as a whole, the city is also  banning
individual associations, and by extension is  infringing on freedom of
expression, he said.

The Oakland attorney likened the idea behind Tehama  Herbal Collective
to a household collectively paying  for a pizza delivery. If  one
person takes cash from the others to pay the  delivery man, and then
shares the pizza with others, it  does not make him a pizza
restaurant, Panzer said.

"It's kind of a new theory, but also, there are very  few dispensaries
that are following this model," he  said.

The collective is not listed on the IRS Web site as a  recognized
501(c)3 non-profit. Nor is it listed in the  California Attorney
General's online database of  charities.

But that kind of registration should not be required  just because a
group of growers and patients happen to  be exchanging medical
marijuana and money, Panzer said.

"There's no sales going on, nobody's selling," he said.  "It's an
equitable contribution because what's being  cultivated by the
association is for the association.  We're talking pure socialism here."

That can be a loaded term, Panzer said. But legally  speaking,
commercial medical marijuana groups are  exactly what California law

The city, however, does have the right to impose  "reasonable time,
place and manner" restrictions,  including a requirement for a use
permit, he said. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake