Anaheim's ban on medical marijuana dispensaries challenged

September 17, 2007

, Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif.—Claiming it conflicts with California law, a medical marijuana group filed a lawsuit challenging Anaheim's new ban on pot dispensaries.

The Qualified Patients Association suit also claims the city's ban violates the civil rights of disabled people, the group's attorney, Tony Curiale, said.

Superior Court Judge David Thompson, who temporarily blocked enforcement of Anaheim's ban, will decide Sept. 28 whether he will forbid enacting the law until a trial decision.

Anaheim joined a dozen or so Orange County cities that have banned or are considering outlawing marijuana dispensaries. The Anaheim City Council unanimously approved an initial ban on dispensaries in July.

Under Proposition 215 approved by California voters in 1996 and a follow-up 2003 law, which clarified the law and ordered counties to issue identification cards to patients, marijuana can be given to people with doctor authorization.

Thompson issued a temporary restraining order Sept. 4, two days before the law was to go into effect.

Federal law still forbids marijuana possession.

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