Pubdate: Wed, 21 Mar 2012
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2012 Record Searchlight
Author: Jenny Espino


Marijuana Dispensaries Can Continue to Operate

Redding City Council will not appeal a judge's ruling that rejected 
the city's request for a preliminary injunction on medical marijuana 
storefront collectives.

The decision, reached tonight in closed session, means the city 
dispensaries can continue to operate.

"The law in the state of California is messed up - and that is an 
understatement," said Mayor Dick Dickerson after the meeting. "Things 
are so fluid that it's so hard to know (what is next). If Judge Baker 
had made his ruling eight or nine days earlier, I think it would have 
been a different outcome."

About 40 people, several of them in support of medical marijuana 
dispensaries, showed up at tonight's meeting in support of a recent 
court decision backing the dispensaries' right to operate.

Only about six of those said they planned to address the council.

They were not in attendance to proclaim victory over the city, they said.

"I want to keep up the support for the people that truly need the 
medicine," said Pamela Bruce, a Redding resident.

Earlier a 5 p.m. rally planned by other medical marijuana supporters 
drew a sparse crowd.

A lone participant in a demonstration circled City Hall on his 
bicycle, waiting for other medical marijuana supporters to arrive for 
a rally. About 10 people, including those apparently opposed to 
medical marijuana dispensaries, eventually showed up. It was 
punctuated by a shouting match that broke out between two people over 
some harsh words exchanged on Facebook.

The event, called last Friday by James Benno, was to start an hour 
before the 6 p.m. City Council meeting to show support for last 
week's court ruling, striking down the city's ban on storefront 
collectives. The council is being briefed tonight in closed session 
about the case. It could decide to appeal the ruling.

Cities are in a fog over how to regulate the burgeoning industry, 
given a series of conflicting court rulings.

Redding's elected officials have said they were surprised and 
confused by Shasta County Superior Court Judge Stephen Baker's 
decision, handed down late last Wednesday.

There has been some blame going around over who mostly bears 
responsibility in this case -- from the city attorney's office for 
its legal advice to the council to state lawmakers for the ambiguity 
in state law on the issue.
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