California medical marijuana patients file suit over pollution caused by driving to get pot

The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients filed a suit against the Coastal Commission and San Diego on Aug. 1.
By Evan Bleier  |  Aug. 7, 2014 at 12:42 PM
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SAN DIEGO , Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A group of California medical marijuana patients have filed a lawsuit involving air pollution, and it has nothing to do with the smoke that they produce.

The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients has filed a suit about the way that the city of San Diego has authorized medical marijuana co-ops in the city by restricting the businesses to certain areas. The current set up allegedly does not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.

According to the suit, which names the Coastal Commission and the city of San Diego, the way the co-ops are zoned will cause patients to drive to get their meds, causing pollution and traffic.

The UMMP also alleges that some patients will now be forced to grow their own marijuana indoors, a tactic that will waste energy and contribute to global warming.

"The ordinance caps the total number of cooperatives at 36 and places a limit of four per Council District," UMMP states in the lawsuit, Courthouse News reported.

The ordinance's "extremely restrictive approach" will require "thousands of patients to drive across the City of San Diego to obtain their medicine because cooperatives are only allowed in certain limited places in the city, which will create traffic and air pollution."

The lawsuit is seeking to have the ordinance taken off the books until the defendants can come up with a new plan that complies with the CEQA.

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