California Supreme Court

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, May. 6, 2013 – 12:59 pm
Last Modified: Monday, May. 6, 2013 – 5:53 pm

Local governments in California are free to ban the distribution and sale of marijuana for medical purposes despite state law that allows it under certain circumstances, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

A unanimous high court declared that neither of the two state statutes governing the manufacture, distribution and use of medical marijuana prohibits a city or county from invoking a total ban on it.

The case stemmed from the city of Riverside imposing a ban on medicinal marijuana dispensaries in 2010. Riverside lawmakers invoked city zoning powers to declare storefront pot shops as public nuisances when they banned the operations. The Inland Empire Patient’s Health and Wellness Center sued to stop the city from shutting it down.

Americans for Safe Access, an advocacy group, lists 193 other cities that ban medical pot shops and 20 counties. In the Sacramento region, Davis, Elk Grove, Folsom, Lincoln, Lodi, Nevada City, Rocklin, Roseville, Wheatland, Woodland and Yuba City have imposed such bans, as have Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sutter and Sacramento counties.

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