A state appeals court affirmed the legality of medical marijuana dispensaries under California law and rejected bans imposed by municipalities.
A three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal held Monday that Los Angeles County's ban on medical marijuana is "preempted'' by state law. The decision reverses a preliminary injunction granted to the county by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ann Jones in May 2011.
"Los Angeles County's total, per se nuisance ban against medical marijuana dispensaries directly contradicts the legislature's intent,'' Justice Robert Mallano wrote in the 19-page unanimous decision.
According to mayor Manuel Lozano, the city of Baldwin Park has a permanent ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. Lozano said he wants to review the court decision.
The court of appeal could not have been clearer in expressing that medical marijuana dispensaries are legal under state law, and that municipalities have no right to ban them,'' said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group.
"This landmark decision should have a considerable impact on how the California Supreme Court rules in the various dispensary cases it's currently reviewing.''
The county sued the Alternative Medicinal Cannabis Collective in March 2011.
Principal Deputy County Counsel Sari Steel could not be immediately reached.
- City News Service.