Medical Marijuana

Restraining Order Bid Against L.A. Medical Pot Shutdown Fails in Court

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The latest discouraging news on the L.A. pot wars front, from the L.A. Times:

Four dispensaries failed Wednesday to win a court order to stop Los Angeles from shutting them down when the city's medical marijuana ordinance takes effect June 7…

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe denied the motions for temporary restraining orders, rejecting arguments from David Welch, the attorney for the dispensaries, that the operators could suffer irreparable harm from daily fines and arrest.

"The temporary restraining order is denied, again, and for the last time," Yaffe said.

The judge set a hearing on an injunction for June 18, dismissing concerns from Welch and the city's attorneys that the issue should be decided before June 7.

And yes, it totally does matter what judge you end up in front of in the American system of justice:

The dispensaries nearly won their restraining orders earlier in the day from Judge James C. Chalfant, who has criticized the city's handling of dispensaries and insisted it would be wrong to prosecute the operators before their motion for an injunction was heard. "We can't have these people go to jail," he said.

But Chalfant could not schedule a timely hearing and transferred the cases to Yaffe.

The dispensaries are among 44 that filed two lawsuits challenging the ordinance, which allows only facilities that registered by Nov. 13, 2007, to continue to operate….

More lawsuits are a-coming:

The city also faces nine lawsuits filed this week by attorney Stewart Richlin, who intends to seek court orders to halt enforcement of the ordinance….

Eric Shevin, another attorney, plans to file a lawsuit soon on behalf of medical marijuana patients and also pursue an order that would bar the city from enforcing the ordinance.

My Reason Online article earlier this month on the foolishness of the city's attempts to enforce the ordinance, and my Reason magazine May cover story on the tortuous history of L.A.'s attempts to regulate the non-problem of medical pot storefronts.