SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Members of California's highest court expressed skepticism Tuesday over claims that the state's medical marijuana laws prohibit local governments from banning storefront pot shops.
During oral arguments in a challenge to the city of Riverside's ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, several justices of the California Supreme Court said they were bothered by the fact that neither a 1996 voter-approved law that legalized marijuana use for health purposes nor companion legislation adopted by the Legislature in 2003 expressly stated that city and counties must accommodate retail marijuana stores.
But J. David Nick, a lawyer representing a dispensary Riverside officials have sought to close, told the court that lawmakers clearly intended to make marijuana available for eligible residents statewide, a goal that dispensary bans thwart.
The Supreme Court's decision in the case will decide the fate of pot shop bans already adopted by about 200 cities and counties.
The Associated Press