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Can Sacramento County Ban Pot Dispensaries? State Court May Decide

Sacramento County is one of the municipalities whose dispensary ban on medical marijuana facilities may be affected by the ruling.

Whether local governments like Sacramento County can ban medical marijuana dispensaries will be the topic of a high-stakes court hearing.

On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether communities can prohibit these marijuana facilities in light of the 1996 voter-approved law legalizing pot for medicinal uses in California.

As detailed in a San Jose Mercury News story, the hearing stems from a Southern California case where a wellness center sued to overturn Riverside's ban on marijuana dispensaries.

In 2011, Sacramento County enacted a practical ban on marijuana dispensaries by banning any business that violates state or federal law.

A year prior, Elk Grove adopted an ordinance banning marijuana dispensaries within that city's limits.

“It’s just one of those things that I think makes Elk Grove a better place and really controls it,” Elk Grove City Council Member Jim Cooper said in 2010 about the lack of dispensaries in the city.

Brad February 05, 2013 at 02:08 AM
Absolutely. Any county or city can ban or prohibit business types that they don't want. It's not really debatable.
Rene Nitz February 05, 2013 at 03:32 AM
While I agree that any county/city can ban businesses they don't want, I don't think it's fair to prohibit those businesses already in place. If a business is up and running and operating a clean ship then they should be grandfathered in. I also want to add that, while this article is obviously slanted by only discussing and focusing on banning dispensaries, there are a good number of citizens right here in Fair Oaks and Carmichael that benefit positively from therapeutical use of medical marijuana. I certainly wish people would educate themselves on this harmless plant. Keeping it underground is what really causes more harm than good. Let's not forget who stands to benefit from keeping marijuana illegal: law enforcement, jails, and cartels. Big business these days locking (poor) people up for smoking joints. Let's leave marijuana alone and let it generate some revenue for us while at the same time helping people in a safe way. Don't force people to get their medicine underground. And please don't come back with the old, false "marijuana is a gateway drug" theory. That was proven to be false a long time ago now, folks. The initial report way back in the 70's was flawed because it only went one way meaning the study only looked at how many hard drug users started out using marijuana. It did not study the other way around (how many marijuana users also did hard drugs which later proved to be a low number). And no, it's not addictive. You're thinking of pharmaceuticals.
Brad February 05, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Trust me, legalized narcotics will become "Big Business" (actually it already is), and if legitimized, it'll make the others mentioned look like non-profit charitable organizations. Right now you might see some Mom & Pop like businesses, but if fully legalized or allowed to expand, that industry will become a nightmare to control. If you thought Big Tobacco, energy companies, or current pharmaceutical lobbies are bad, what until you unleash that little monster. Within 50 years it will be well out of control, drafting policy under the pretense of "medicine", and no amount of regulation is gonna stop it once it consolidates, and it will. People need to think a bit more about that before just embracing it. There are very few people in prison in there for just smoking a little weed, they are in there for trafficking large amounts illegally or because of repeat offenses often much more severe than a little possession charge, so it's not correct to say that law enforcement or the jails are benefiting from it - that's a cynical view. But all of that is really beside the point, which is that local governments have the right to deny businesses in their jurisdictions, and honestly "grandfathering" is a weasel's loophole that often causes more problems than it does good. I believe there is a place for cannabis in medicine, but it should be regulated and dispensed like every other medication. It shouldn't get special consideration.
kao February 13, 2013 at 06:19 PM
We have a goverment that represents the people when this "goverment"goes out on a "stem" as a representative debate of majority rules from the voice of the people that a bill is semi passed then thrown back out for the people too vote again on lashed out words which keeps the con objective banning the use for which targeted pro audience it's after by not understanding that the strength is in the peoples vote which side won the thought that use could be just like drinking alcohol or it could be available to those in need

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