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Medical Marijuana Case in State Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court today in San Francisco will hear oral arguments over a legal conundrum involving medical marijuana. The city of Riverside wants to ban sale of medicinal marijuana, a decision that may violate state law ensuring legal access to it. At the same time it adheres to federal law banning marijuana’s sale and use.

To Riverside officials opposed to marijuana sales, the answer is pretty simple: “A medical marijuana dispensary constitutes ‘a Prohibited Use’ ” in Riverside’s zoning code, which makes it a public nuisance, the city’s attorneys wrote in a legal brief. “Any use which is prohibited by state and/or federal law is also strictly prohibited,” the attorneys said.

But marijuana advocates, in their own brief, said Riverside officials are prohibiting the distribution of medicine, and that’s against state law.