Pubdate: Fri, 01 Oct 2010
Source: Times-Herald, The (Vallejo, CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Times-Herald
Author: Tony Burchyns


In a ruling that could foreshadow a disappointing result for other
Vallejo medical marijuana clubs, a judge Thursday ordered a local
dispensary to stop distributing the drug because of zoning code violations.

Solano County Superior Court Judge Ramona Garrett issued a preliminary
injunction that orders Stan the Man Collective to stop dispensing
marijuana to patients and their caretakers.

Stan the Man is one of an estimated "eight or nine" medical marijuana
clubs in Vallejo, city officials said.

Code enforcement officials pushed for the action in an effort to crack
down on the clubs, which are not defined in the city's zoning code or
governed by any city laws, deputy city attorney Alan Cohen said. Code
enforcement officials received numerous citizen complaints about the
operations, Cohen added.

Stan the Man attorney Scot Candell said after the hearing that "we
respect the judge's ruling, although we disagree."

Candell added that the club, which has already begun directing
patients to an associated collective in Richmond, intends to comply
with the court order.

Candell had argued that the city did not go through the proper process
to determine whether the club might fit in with similar uses in the
zoning code.

The city filed a civil lawsuit in July, alleging that the club
blatantly violated zoning laws. Cohen said it also lacks business licenses.

The ruling, which took effect Thursday, could have wider implications
as other cities, including Benicia, ponder how to regulate or restrict
medical marijuana clubs. Benicia passed a moratorium against the
establishments while it studies the issue.

Benicia law-enforcement officials have pushed for laws prohibiting the
clubs, calling them "public nuisances."

Cohen said Vallejo may consider crafting regulations for medical
marijuana clubs in the future, calling it a "political question."

If California voters pass Proposition 19 on Nov. 2, legalizing
marijuana, cities may look to pass their own local regulations.
However, the proposition itself may be subject to legal challenges if
it passes.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt