Pubdate: Fri, 23 Apr 2010
Source: Red Bluff Daily News (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Red Bluff Daily News
Author: Geoff Johnson


CORNING - The city will argue a marijuana collective was not allowed 
under its code even before it issued a temporary ban on such 
organizations in a pending court case.

Tehama Herbal Collective owners Ken and Kathy Prather have 
continually received citations since they opened the collective on 
Solano Street.

Previously, the Prathers' lawyer, Bill Panzer, issued a demurrer 
stating he would fight the citations by arguing the city's ban on 
dispensaries, collectives and other marijuana operations is unconstitutional.

The city has the right to control where collectives are erected, but 
not to ban them altogether, he said.

But, according to a response filed by City Attorney Michael 
Fitzpatrick, the Prathers were never cited for violating the ban. The 
citations were issued because the Prathers never obtained a use 
permit from the city, nor did they ask it to zone an area for medical 
marijuana collectives.

"Rather than follow administrative procedures...[the Prathers] chose 
to simply "do business' in the zone they selected as best suiting 
their needs and thumb their noses at City Hall," according to 
Fitzpatrick's response dated April 5.

Fitzpatrick defends the city's prohibition on marijuana collectives 
as a temporary measure. Legally, the city allows temporary 
prohibitions on land use not already permitted by the local 
government for a period up to two years, according to the response.

Fitzpatrick compares the relationship between California's marijuana 
laws and city zoning ordinances to churches, nuclear power plants and 
livestock auction yards, all of which must comply with local policies.

"These types of proposed uses, just like some types of medical 
marijuana activities, are clearly legal," he writes. "But just 
because they are "legal' doesn't mean that the jurisdiction must 
allow them to go into any geographic area, regardless of their 
impacts on surrounding uses of property and on the people surrounding 
those neighboring properties."

California law is clear that, when state law does not address zoning 
or land use, cities will be given the right to regulate land use, 
Fitzpatrick argues.

The Prathers are scheduled to be arraigned May 4. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake