And the inevitably long legal battle begins. The first lawsuit from medical marijuana advocates has been filed against the city following the January passage of a dispensary ordinance that caps the number of shops and sets rules for operation (e.g. no smoking on property) and location. The plaintiffs are advocacy group Americans For Safe Access and two dispensaries that opened before 2007, when the city put a moratorium on new shops (the new ordinance exempts such dispensaries from the cap, but not from the location rules). Besides arguing that the law is so restrictive it will put the "vast majority of collectives" out of business, the suit complains that the ordinance mandates that dispensaries be 1,000 feet from schools, churches, and parks, but the city hasn't provided a map to show where they can set up (blogdowntown and the LA Times have both created unofficial maps). The ASA says "The Planning Department was unable to provide residential buffer zone maps prior to the passage of the ordinance and, according to city staff, may never be able to produce them." The ordinance only gives non-complying shops seven days to find a new location after it goes into effect, which the plaintiffs believe will be too difficult without a city map. And the law hasn't even taken effect yet because the City Council is still deciding on the dispensary registration fees.
· Medical Marijuana Advocates File Lawsuit Challenging L.A. Dispensary Ordinance [ASA]
· Medical marijuana advocates sue Los Angeles [LAT]