Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Lake Forrest Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Have 30 Days to React To City Regulations
Pot dispensaries have 30 days to react to city complaints
35 people, including landlords, associated with 14 medical marijuana
dispensaries are being served.
By ERIKA I. RITCHIE
The Orange County Register
Monday, September 21, 2009
LAKE FOREST – The city is delivering 35 civil complaints against
property owners and tenants connected to 14 medical marijuana
dispensaries in the city.
The complaints are being hand-delivered. Recipients will have 30 days to
submit a formal response to the courts, said Jeffrey Dunn, an attorney
handling the cases for the city.
"They can appear on their own or hire an attorney," he added.
The individuals are being served in groups by location. Some are in a
single building complex owned by the same property owner. Others are
near each other on the same street. Others are within a common business
The city hopes to ultimately shut down the shops. The city's municipal
code prohibits uses not explicitly allowed in commercial areas and
prohibits businesses that violate state and federal law.
Norman Lepoff, a retired doctor and marijuana user, is outraged that the
city has chosen to proceed legally despite the large turnout of pro-pot
proponents at last week's city council meeting.
"At the next meeting, I intend to ask the mayor and council members to
provide a full accounting of the projected costs to the city of their
frivolous, illegal and malicious prosecution, " he said. "I intend to
offer my services as an expert witness at no charge to all the
collectives and patients who are being wrongfully mistreated and
damaged. It is wrong to do this to the sick and disabled and to these
collectives that are in complete compliance with California law and the
regulations ordered by the Attorney General for collectives. "
Last week more than 150 pro-pot proponents rallied at the City Council
bringing awareness of the many chronically ill patients who are helped
by the use of cannabis. They also hoped to forge a compromise with the
city and find a way to regulate the dispensaries.
"The solution is to regulate them," said Ryan Michaels, 27, who works
with several of the Lake Forest dispensaries, to assure they are in
compliance. "I don't think the problem is the city of Lake Forest. They
are being pushed by their attorneys. The solution is regulating them and
mitigating them through patient fundraisers. Potentially, we can come to
On Sept. 1 the city filed civil complaints against 35 people associated
with 14 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city and called on
immediate prosecution and abatement of these storefronts.
"We will initiate prosecution against the operators and landlords of
these dispensaries operating in violation of federal law and violation
of the city's zoning code," said City Attorney Scott Smith, making the
announcement following the City Council's closed session. "They are not
permitted in any area of the city."
Contact the writer: 949-454-7307 or eritchie@ocregister .com
http://www.ocregist er.com/articles/ city-dispensarie s-attorney- 2575251-co\