Dec 152010
 

A Tulare County judge on Tuesday ruled in favor a medical marijuana collective near Ivanhoe by saying that that it can stay open.

But the county, which sued the collective in October to try to shut it down, said it will seek a trial to try to win the case, the Fresno Bee reports.

Tulare County Superior Court Judge Paul Vortmann denied the county’s request for a temporary order against Foothill Growers Association, which grows and distributes marijuana at a former dental office.

Vortmann ordered the parties back to court in March and could set a trial date then.

The county had argued that Foothill Growers is breaking the county’s zoning laws by operating in an agricultural zone when medical marijuana collectives are allowed only in certain commercial zones.

But Vortmann’s ruling said that the property owner has leased the site for commercial uses “for more than 40 years without complaint” and the medical marijuana group might legally be grandfathered in as a “long-term non-conforming use of the property.”

  One Response to “Tulare County loses bid for dispensary injunction”

  1. Let’s put aside the social debate about cannabis, momentarily, to focus on the quiet shift from criminal to civil enforcement tactics. It’s a measure of real progress that court cases now address zoning and land-use issues, which is far better than slashing crops and shutting down dispensaries using cops as code enforcement officers. The rule of law applies here, as does the unwritten law of common sense.

    Now we can shift back to the social debate. We’re witnessing a snapshot in time, with public attitudes and demands shifting rapidly and case law evolving much more slowly. If one focuses on the day-to-day events, the scene seems chaotic, even dangerous at times, but it’s important to focus on the bigger picture. Piece by piece, we’re creating safe and legal access to cannabis, the only practical alternative to cannabis prohibition and its deadly consequences. We’re also creating a green, sustainable industry that employs Californians and generates taxes, certainly nothing to sneeze at in ag-based counties plagued with double-digit unemployment.

    So enjoy the dispensary bans while they last, if you must, but understand they won’t last forever. Regulations, not legal obstructionism, are the safer and more practical approach.

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