Patients Challenge Marijuana Restrictions

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Medical marijuana patients have challenged a Los Angeles ordinance that caps the number of marijuana dispensaries at 70, starting next week. The ordinance unconstitutionally restricts access to medicine, says the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court.

     Businesses that registered with the city before Nov. 13, 2007 will be allowed to continue operating, according to the suit.
     “The effect of this ordinance will be to eliminate most if not all, of the dispensing operations currently providing patients with their medicine,” according to the complaint. “Additionally, the cap of 70 is arbitrary and unreasonable given patient per capita allocations, particularly when compared to pharmacies, which have no such cap.
     “Though the city states in its findings that it desires to protect the impact of these operations on the city’s neighborhoods, the net effect of the restrictions will be to create mega-collective dispensaries that will have a greater impact on neighborhoods.”
     Patients say the law has unconstitutional provisions, including requirements that dispensaries must consent to inspections of all receipts; provide security footage to police “upon request”; provide names, addresses and phone numbers of patients; be at least 1,000 feet from “sensitive uses,” including schools, public parks, public libraries, religious institutions, licensed child care facilities, youth centers, substance abuse rehab centers or any other dispensary; and that a licensed security guard must patrol in a two-block radius.
     The patients want the law declared unconstitutional and void on associational, equal protection, due process and privacy grounds under the California Constitution.
     The complaint was filed by Matthew Kumin with Kumin Sommers of San Francisco.

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