Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/16/2011 06:02:52 PM PDT

COLTON – The city is pursuing further legal action to shut down two medical marijuana distributors that have announced they intended to remain open despite two judges’ orders to temporarily shut down, said City Attorney Dean Derleth.

The city filed papers Wednesday in support of contempt-of-court hearings because of the refusals.

In separate hearings on Tuesday, San Bernardino Superior Court judges Donald Alvarez and Donna Garza denied motions for stays on temporary restraining orders won by Colton against G3 Holistics and Organic Garden Collective, which opened this year in violation of a city ban.

But James Deaguilera, who represents the distributors, said he has filed an appeal with the state 4th District Court of Appeal in Riverside that he expects will earn his clients the right to stay open.

The appeals court recently allowed marijuana dispensaries in Wildomar and Riverside to reopen while it decides whether local jurisdictions can ban dispensaries despite state law allowing them.

“Eventually, it will be determined that their bans are illegal,” Deaguilera said. “It’d be anarchy if cities and counties could invalidate the will of state voters.”

Any marijuana use is illegal under federal law, but Deaguilera said the relationship between states and the federal government is looser because cities and counties are created by state law.

Derleth said the appeals court’s reasoning in the Wildomar and Riverside cases doesn’t apply to Colton.

“If the appellate court is interested in maintaining the status quo while it decides that a city can use its land use powers to place an outright ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, the court will realize that the status quo is that the businesses remain closed,” Derleth said in a statement.

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