Lawsuit Filed Against San Bernardino County MMJ Ordinance

 by lucy

Letitia Pepper, attorney and director of Crusaders for Patients’ Rights, is speaking out against San Bernardino County’s medical marijuana ordinance.  She is taking a new position against the ordinance, arguing that the current ban on marijuana collectives violates the California Environmental Quality Act.

The CEQA is most frequently used to determine the impact that development has upon the environment, but Pepper is arguing that the law covers both the natural environment as well as man made environments, including collectives.  The Act was passed in 1970 and requires an analysis on potential environmental impacts from a proposed development in a city, county, or the state of California.

Pepper explained, “If you can imagine the county adopting an ordinance where they banned all pharmacies, where people would look for a Rite Aid or Walgreens and they’re banned.  That’s an impact on the physical environment.  Instead of pharmacies, they’re getting rid of dispensaries.  People have a right to use medical cannabis rather than prescription drugs.  They have a choice.”

The lawsuit filed by Ms. Pepper is scheduled to have a hearing this Friday at 11 a.m. at San Bernardino Superior Court, which is located at 303 W. Third St., San Bernardino.  She is hoping that medical marijuana advocates will attend the hearing to show support of the lawsuit against they city’s ban.

According to Lanny Swerdlow, a member of the Marijuana Anti-Prohibiton Project, 20 medical marijuana patients will be in attendance, that he knows of so far.

Spokesman for San Bernardino County, David Wert, explained that the ban was initially put into place is because marijuana “is something that is sought after by potentially dangerous people and growing it outside invites the criminal element to raid backyards or other outdoor places to get their hands on valuable crops.  What the county had in mind was what we often see in remote areas of the state… Marijuana farms become armed camps, and armed people try to steal the crops, and the county believes that’s not something the neighbors of marijuana nurseries should have to endure.”

 

[Source]

 

6 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. 1

    Elvers said on Jun 13, 2012

    go get them lady

  2. 1

    559airandtrees said on Jun 14, 2012

    if you live by the knife, gun and you kill by that knife or gun, you have no turns coming your way when its your turn to die on the bitch table. whether its liquor or weed or money criminals will always rob people if they need too, so banning the dispenieres just moves the crime elsewhere.

  3. 1

    eddie273273 said on Jun 14, 2012

    "Spokesman for San Bernardino County, David Wert, explained that the ban was initially put into place is because marijuana “is something that is sought after by potentially dangerous people and growing it outside invites the criminal element to raid backyards or other outdoor places to get their hands on valuable crops. What the county had in mind was what we often see in remote areas of the state… Marijuana farms become armed camps, and armed people try to steal the crops, and the county believes that’s not something the neighbors of marijuana nurseries should have to endure."

    If that is the case then all businesses that serve alcohol should be banned also . 60% of all murders are committed under the influence of alcohol .

    • 0

      dallas said on Jun 14, 2012

      The problem of course is that the studies don't show a collaboration of crime increase in areas "friendly" to MMJ dispensaries/collectives.

  4. 0

    letitia said on Jun 16, 2012

    Thanks for covering this story. After being interviewed by the press and getting press coverage, I learned from e-mails from people who'd read the story that the City of Los Angeles- based Union of Medical Marijuana Patients and its attorneys filed a CEQA suit against the City of Los Angeles over its adoption of a similar ordinance, and that at least one attorney in northern California is working on a CEQA suit for similar reasons.
    An interesting sidebar to this story is that the San Bernardino County CEQA lawsuit names the California Chiefs of Police Association (CCOPA) as the real party in interest, a position usually held by a developer whose development project a county or city has approved. CCOPA's general counsel of more than 25 years, Martin J. Mayer of the Fullerton-based law firm of Jones & Mayer, created a model ordinance (on which many cities and counties have been basing their anti-dispensary, anti-outdoor cultivation ordinances), and told people at a meeting of an anti-recreational-drug-use group headed by Paul Chabot that his model ordinance was the "silver bullet" against the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries.
    The June 16 hearing went very well. More than 60 patients attended, along with Lanette Davies, the founder of Crusaders for Patients' Rights, who flew down to San Bernardino from Sacramento to sit with me at the counsel table. The judge, the Honorable Don Alvarez, listened intently to both sides, made good observations and asked thoughtful questions, and stated he was taking the matter under submission so he could write a detailed opinion. I expect an opinion no sooner than 30 days, and maybe more than 60 days from the hearing.

  5. 0

    Gossett said on Jun 16, 2012

    Thanks goes out to you Letecia for putting up the good fight. I am glad as a patient that you are doing this. My favorite collective was closed due to this, and I am extremely angry with the police and Feds in general in this matter. Who is the government to say how I treat my "conditions" while they go home and drink their bodies silly to "medicate". It's called the freedom of choice and apparently the government wants total control over our lives in one aspect or another. All I can say is fight the good fight against this or the right will be taken away forcefully.

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