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Medical Marijuana Advocates File Lawsuit Against L.A.

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As warned to the L.A. City Council by advocates during public meetings over the last year, lawsuits would be filed if an ordinance limiting dispensaries was approved. Now that an ordinance has been approved--it is expected to take effect on March 14th--advocates today filed a lawsuit on behalf of two dispensaries, reports the LA Times.The lawsuit was filed by Americans for Safe Access on behalf of Venice Beach Care Center and the PureLife Alternative Wellness Center. Both were in operation prior to the 2006 moratorium, but the lawsuit states that the ordinance “severely restricts access to medical marijuana by effectively forcing plaintiffs, as well as the vast majority of collectives in the City, to close their doors.”

The ordinance restricts where dispensaries may be located, such as proximity to schools, housing and other dispensaries.

In the bigger picture, another issue is Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich's interpretation of the state law, in which he reads to say that collectives have the right to grow their own marijuana and recover costs, but the sale of it is verboten. "The courts still have not ruled directly on whether collectives can sell marijuana to their members," notes the Times.