Riverside County votes against medical marijuana ordinance

September 28, 2006

K. Kaufmann, The Desert Sun

The Riverside County supervisors today took strong steps toward limiting medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives and use in the county.

The supervisors voted 4-1 to reject an ordinance that was months in development and would have allowed dispensaries and collectives in the unincorporated county areas. Supervisor Roy Wilson voted to approve the ordinance.

The supervisors also voted to approve joining a lawsuit brought by San Diego and San Bernardino counties that challenges the legality of the sale of medical marijuana.

The decisions will not affect dispensaries already set up in Palm Desert and Palm Springs.

According to a white paper opinion released by District Attorney Gordon Trask last week, the county's top lawyer concurs with those in San Diego and San Bernardino who think that the federal drug code outlawing marijuana supercedes the California statute allowing compassionate use after the passage of Proposition 215.

The lawsuit is scheduled to go to court Nov. 16. The counties adjacent to Riverside County are seeking to have the court rule that the federal law is the one that should be followed.

California is one of 11 states that has some form of legalized medical use of marijuana.

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