Pubdate: Sat, 01 May 2010
Source: Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, CA)
Copyright: 2010 Daily Pilot
Author: Brianna Bailey


Clubs want court to keep Costa Mesa from enforcing ordinance because
it violates state constitution, they say.

Two local pot clinics are suing Costa Mesa in Orange County Superior
Court to have a citywide ban on marijuana dispensaries declared

Both dispensaries, Herban Elements Inc. and MedMar Patient Care
Collective, operate out of the same office building at 440 Fair Drive.

Herban Elements and MedMar are two of several dispensaries that city
officials served with cease-and-desist orders in March, instructing
them to close for operating outside the boundaries of their business

In their complaint, the dispensaries claim that the ban "conflicts
with the general laws by completely removing the rights of seriously
ill individuals who reside in and around the city of Costa Mesa to
obtain the medicine which they need."

Calls to both dispensaries were not immediately returned Friday. Santa
Ana attorneys Christopher Glew and Lee Petros, who are representing
the dispensaries, also could not immediately be reached for comment.

Filed April 19 in Superior Court, the lawsuit asks for a declaration
from the court that Costa Mesa's 2005 ban on pot dispensaries flies in
the face of the state constitution.

The dispensaries also want the court to force Costa Mesa to stop
enforcing the ordinance.

City Manager Allan Roeder said Friday that the city will continue to
enforce its ordinance.

"We do very much stand behind our ordinance, we feel that it is
constitutional," Roeder said. "We're certainly willing to defend that
measure and move forward with its continued enforcement."

The suit is the second legal challenge to a 2005 city ordinance
outlawing medical marijuana clinics.

A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of four medical marijuana patients
in April challenged city crackdowns on pot dispensaries in Costa Mesa
and Lake Forest.

The federal lawsuit claims that the cities have violated their rights
to have access to public services, in this case medical marijuana,
under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A U.S. District Court judge is expected to rule on the case some time
in the near future. 
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