Upland seal

By Liset Márquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 04/13/16 – 5:51 PM PDT |

UPLAND >> A battle to keep out medical marijuana dispensaries has turned into a legal tax issue with possible statewide implications.

In March, in an unprecedented move, an appellate court released an opinion siding with the California Cannabis Coalition, finding that Upland is obligated to hold a special election that could allow three medical marijuana dispensaries because the necessary signatures were gathered to get the initiative on the ballot.

Now a majority of city leaders want to appeal that decision to the state Supreme Court.

Due to the unprecedented nature of the ruling, Upland also has asked that a higher court unpublish the opinion, claiming the decision could have far-reaching implications in other cities.

“We would ask the Supreme Court to depublish that decision so it would not carry much weight if someone cited that case in the future,” said City Attorney Richard Adams.

The council voted 3-2 on both motions in closed session Monday night. Council members Debbie Stone and Gino Filippi both were opposed, Adams announced in public session.

“It’s painful watching the city waste much-needed funds on this issue when there are needs for public safety and public works services. Since 2002, Upland has spent $2 million on chasing medical marijuana,” Filippi said.

Because the appellate court overturned a previous court ruling, Upland could face at least $100,000 in legal fees. With the case moving to the Supreme Court, Adams said, it could incur additional legal fees.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has offered to assist Upland with the appeal at no cost.

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