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Orange County Court Says Cities Can Ban Pot Dispensaries

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Photo by Michael Zampelli via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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A judge in Orange County ruled that Anaheim's ban on dispensaries doesn't conflict with the 1996 state law that legalized medical marijuana, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The group that filed the case, Qualified Patients Assn., plans to appeal the court's decision.

"Their ordinance is unconstitutional, it's invalid, it conflicts with state law," said the plaintiff's attorney Anthony Curiale.

Anaheim is one of a handful of cities in California whose dispensary ban is being challenged in court. The suit, filed in 2007, is being viewed as a test case for similar local bans. Other cities, like Glendale, have continued to move forward cautiously with a ban.

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In the meantime, the Los Angeles Times notes that as many as 50 dispensaries in Anaheim continue to do business quietly in city limits.

"They're kind of operating under the radar, so to speak," said Moses W. Johnson IV, the assistant Anaheim city attorney handling the case. "We've gone after some of the newer ones."