Judge Throws Out MMJ Suit Against Costa Mesa
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Judge Throws Out MMJ Suit Against Costa Mesa
Posted by CN Staff on May 03, 2010 at 18:20:49 PT
By Mona Shadia
Source: Daily Pilot
California -- A federal judge on Friday threw out a lawsuit by four Orange County medical marijuana users who claimed that citywide bans on pot dispensaries in Costa Mesa and Lake Forest violate their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Guilford in Santa Ana rejected the argument that laws prohibiting pot dispensaries in the two cities conflict with the disabilities act or the plaintiffs’ access to public services.
“Because marijuana cannot be prescribed under the ADA, the court finds no likelihood of success on the merits,” Guilford wrote in his ruling.But Matthew Pappas, the Mission Viejo attorney representing the plaintiffs, Marla James, Wayne Washington, James Armantrout and Charles Daniel DeJong, disagrees with the judge’s interpretation of the law, and said he’s likely to file an appeal.“This has happened in other civil rights cases for hundreds of years,” Pappas said. “When you’re working to change something in our society, it takes work to make that happen. We believe our position is correct, and we’ll continue our efforts.”Last week, Guilford tentatively sided with the cities, citing federal law that prohibits the sale, use or cultivation of marijuana under all circumstances, but later agreed to consider the matter.However, Guilford also agreed to consider the case after Pappas argued that both cities should allow marijuana dispensaries to operate for disabled individuals under the equal protection provision contained in the 5th Amendment.Last year, Congress lifted a 1998 ban on medical marijuana in Washington, D.C., making it legal for dispensaries to operate within the city. Pappas argues that under the equal provision act, disabled people in California should too be allowed access to the drug they call medicine. But Guilford did not address the provision in his ruling.Although illegal in the eyes of the federal government, a 1996 California proposition made it legal for those with various ailments to use marijuana under the supervision of a healthcare professional.Since then, some California cities have chosen to make dispensaries legal and regulate them, and others, like Costa Mesa and Lake Forest, decided to ban them with the backing of federal laws.But a decision last year by U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder to no longer go after marijuana dispensaries has made it difficult for those opposed to dispensaries to enforce such laws.Since February, Costa Mesa has gone after at least a half a dozen dispensaries in the city by making arrests for sales in some cases, and issuing cease-and-desist orders in others.Costa Mesa City Atty. Kimberly Hall Barlow has said that it will address the city’s options during a study session.Mayor Allan Mansoor said Costa Mesa should not be alone in addressing the issue.“It’s always nice to get a favorable ruling, and quite frankly I don’t think that lawsuits are going to solve the problem,” he said. “The (cities) have some legitimate concerns and ultimately, it’s something that’s going to have to be addressed a little bit more on a regional basis.”But plaintiff James, who uses marijuana to relief pain from nerve damage she contracted after a surgery that removed her lower abdomen due to flesh-eating bacteria, said the city doesn’t seem to want to listen.“I can’t grow marijuana, and the only way I can get marijuana other than going through collectives, which I really prefer, is to get it from a back alley, through a cartel,” she said. “Is that what Costa Mesa wants? Is that what Lake Forest wants?”Source: Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, CA)Author: Mona ShadiaPublished: May 3, 2010Copyright: 2010 Daily PilotContact: dailypilot latimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by Zandor on May 04, 2010 at 08:55:44 PT
As expected but still sad!
ADA is a Federal law thus Federal regulations would apply.Medical Marijuana is a state issue, now the 5th amendment is another issue but they sued under the ADA thus their case was tossed out.Go back and sue under the 5th and you may have a case, but most of our courts are still ran by Bush boy's and they have a plan to hold on to everything the Republicans want for as long as they can!With Bush boys running the majority of courts around the Nation we are going to be fighting em for another 10 years. To get real justice for Americans and not the religious right justice Bush & his boy's dish up now. We need to fight to remove those justices appointed by Bush ASAP or else this is going to be a long loosing battle everytime!Remember Bush still controls the Supreme Court through the justices HE APPOINTED!
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Comment #1 posted by MarijuanaSavesLives on May 04, 2010 at 07:07:51 PT
 “Is that what Costa Mesa wants? Is that what Lake
 “Is that what Costa Mesa wants? Is that what Lake Forest wants?”Sad to say but it sure is...
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