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L.A. Challenged on Medical Pot Ban

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The City of Los Angeles is unconstitutionally interfering with medical marijuana collectives and dispensaries, three such groups claim in Superior Court. They say that despite voter approval of Prop. 215, the Compassionate Use Act, in 1996, Los Angeles illegally placed a moratorium on the dispensaries and usurped state powers to force "the cast majority of medical marijuana collectives in the city to close their doors."

Lead plaintiff Americans for Safe Access claims the city's 2007 Interim Control Ordinance violates state guidelines, and that another ordinance, enacted on Jan. 26 this year, unconstitutionally claims the power to regulate the dispensaries.

Fifty-seven percent of voters approved Prop. 215 in November 1996. It legalizes marijuana prescriptions for illnesses and pain and side effects from treatment for illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, chronic pain, glaucoma and anorexia.

Plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment, an injunction and damages. They are represented by Joseph Elford of Oakland.

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