Pubdate: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2012 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Jonathan Edwards


Live Oak's ban on growing medical marijuana withstood attack Tuesday
and survives, for now.

Sutter County Superior Court Judge Perry Parker denied a request for
an injunction that would have temporarily stopped the ban. The
plaintiff, James Maral, sought the order while he pursues a permanent
way to stop the ordinance.

"I don't have the ordinance to read, so I don't know what the city of
Live Oak even did," Parker said. "They may have said, 'Give marijuana
to everyone.'"

The Live Oak City Council last month unanimously banned residents from
growing marijuana. Proponents hailed the decision as a way to rid
neighborhoods of the "skunky" stench marijuana plants exude. Opponents
howled that council members were depriving them of their medicine.

Parker didn't have get into any of that. Without the ordinance, the
judge denied Maral's injunction request, but did so without prejudice.
That means Maral can refile his complaint with the missing ordinance,
something he plans to do.

"We're going to be back here next week or the week after," Maral's
lawyer, John Fuery, said after the hearing. "If I have to go down to
the city of Live Oak myself and camp there, I will."

Fuery said he couldn't find a copy of the ordinance on the city's
website because the city played "hide the ball" with the document.

"They're basically making it impossible for people to find," Fuery

"There's nothing there to hide," said city attorney Brant Bordsen.
"The city of Live Oak is very transparent and doesn't engage in those
kind of tactics."

The 13-page ordinance was available on the city's website Tuesday

In court, Parker questioned Fuery about the scope of the Compassionate
Use Act, or Proposition 215, which voters passed in 1996.

The law shields medical marijuana patients who have a doctor's
recommendation from prosecution, Parker said. But the judge said he
didn't see anything in there stripping a city from using its zoning
powers to prevent residents from growing it.

The judge drew an analogy: Cities prohibit their residents from having
backyard chicken coops or limit where businesses can open an auto body

"Those are subject to the zoning policing power of the public entity,"
Parker said, calling those powers "extremely broad."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.