Appeal likely in LA medical pot ruling

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A lawyer for 60 Los Angeles marijuana dispensaries says he expects the city to appeal a ruling blocking enforcement of new regulations on the pot shops.

Attorney David Welch told the Los Angeles Times the ruling would allow his clients to remain open pending further litigation on his lawsuit against the ordinance.


"It means they can't use strong-arm tactics such as arresting my clients and raids of the dispensaries to prevent my clients from going through the legal process," Welch said.

The Times said Saturday that the city attorney's office declined comment on the ruling, which was issued in Los Angeles Superior Court Friday.

The ruling involves a recent ordinance approved by the City Council that would only allow medical marijuana dispensaries that were registered with the city prior in 2007 to remain open. Scores of other such businesses would have to close.

The Times said Judge Anthony Mohr agreed the ordinance violated state and federal provisions for equal protection under the law.

Mohr also wrote in his 40-page ruling that grandfathering in the existing dispensaries was, in his opinion, a viable compromise. The city, however, has been trying to get a handle on a sudden boom in pot dispensaries around town.


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