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.”