Smaller California cities can’t afford to out-sue marijuana dispensaries

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Somebody cue the world’s tiniest violin, get your tissues, there’s a sob story approaching…

(LA Times) Three years ago, Garden Grove enacted a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

But the city’s crackdown didn’t go the way officials planned. Dealing with one marijuana case cost $200,000 in attorney’s fees, leaving city leaders with sticker shock. Then they began to wonder whether their ban would even withstand legal challenge, given the contradictory case law.

So Garden Grove stopped enforcing its ban and this summer required dispensaries to register with the city.

Now there are about 60 pot shops in Garden Grove, selling products with names like Porn Star and Super Lemon Haze. City Manager Matt Fertal said he believes it’s more shops per capita than any other city in California.

And as for the dispensaries, Fertal said, some do not hesitate to sue cities that try to regulate them: “They’ve got more money than everybody to throw at this, and they are just determined to sue on every matter…. We feel like we are caught in the middle.”

Gee, what a shame it is when the people whose rights you’re oppressing have the capital to put up a fight, huh?  Now, go tell your little “Garden Grove can’t afford to ban pot shops” sob story to one of the thousands of California cannabis consumers who get caught up in a marijuana charge and have to cop a plea because they can’t afford to fight the limitless resources of the district attorney.  Tell it to thousands more who lose their property and money to a civil asset forfeiture so they don’t have the resources even if they do have the resources.

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