Pubdate: Sun, 20 Jan 2013
Source: Times-Herald, The (Vallejo, CA)
Copyright: 2013 The Times-Herald
Author: Paul Armentano


So let me get this straight. Vallejo City Manager Dan Keen maintains,
"I don't think anything's changed," in regards to the question of
whether cannabis dispensaries are legally permitted by state law
("Charges dropped against second Vallejo marijuana dispensary", Jan.


In recent weeks, criminal charges against a pair of local dispensary
owners have been dismissed for lack of evidence that any violation of
state law was committed.

But that's not all.

In August, the California Court of Appeals struck down a Los Angeles
County prohibition on cannabis collectives, finding that the ban
conflicted with the state's medical marijuana statute. Also in August,
the California Supreme Court dismissed an appellate court decision
(Pack et al. v. Long Beach) without the review.

Vallejo city officials had previously cited the Pack decision as a
justification for why the city could not move forward with local
regulations regarding where and how dispensaries may operate. The
Supreme Court's dismissal of Pack removes this concern and allows
local governments to move forward with responsible regulations
regarding medical marijuana cultivation and distribution to patients.

Oral arguments in a third case (City of Riverside v. Inland Empire
Patients' Health and Wellness Center, Inc.) will be heard by the state
Supreme Court in February. However, the issue before the Court in this
case is whether California municipalities have the legal right to ban
dispensaries, not whether it is permissible for a city to impose
licensing requirements and regulations upon existing dispensary operations.

It is now clear that the decision regarding whether or not to license
and regulate Vallejo's medicinal cannabis establishments isn't a
matter of law, it's a matter of political will.

Paul Armentano

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