Patient Care Alliance, a Los Angeles-based medical marijuana trade group, announced Friday that it has sued the City of Los Angeles in an effort to seek an injunction against an ordinance that bans medical marijuana storefronts and is scheduled to become effective Sept. 6.
The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the ordinance Aug. 1, eight days after the City Council voted unanimously to ban medical marijuana storefront but allow patient collectives of three or less individuals to cultivate their own pot.
Earlier last week, hundreds of medical marijuana facilities began receiving letters signed by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, informing their owners that the storefronts are in violation of the City’s ordinance and should therefore shut down by Sept. 6 or face legal action, including jail time and stiff fines.
"The City Council's actions are not only reckless, heartless and pointless, they're just plain stupid," NBC quoted Marc O'Hara, a representative of PCA-LA, as saying. "The city knows that it will never be able to successfully defend this lawsuit."
, one of the key architects of the ordinance, said the City is on the right side of the law in pushing for what he has described all along as a “gentle ban” that permits genuine medical marijuana patients to grow their own pot or to cultivate it in collectives of up to three people each.
An appellate court decision last month, said Huizar, has upheld the City’s so-called “sunset clause” from its original ordinance, which allows up to three qualified patients or their caregivers to grow their own marijuana.
“In fact, our gentle ban allows for more access—through clinics and care facilities—than the sunset clause,” Huizar said, adding: “We feel confidant that the court will once again rule in our favor."