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Marijuana Dispensary May Reopen in Murrieta, Judge Rules

Cooperative Medical Group may reopen, but not in the same location, according to a court ruling this week.

A medical marijuana dispensary may reopen in Murrieta, but not in its former location, a Riverside County Superior Court Judge ruled Tuesday.

Judge John Vineyard ruled Cooperative Medical Group can not operate at 26690 Madison Ave., Suite 103, because it is within 600 feet of Sky High Party Zone, according to a report from The Californian newspaper. Sky High caters to young children with its indoor play setting.

Attorneys for the city of Murrieta and CMG told The Californian they believe Vineyard based his ruling on the pending California Supreme Court review of whether cities and counties have the authority to ban medical marijuana dispensaries. Marijuana for medical use was approved by California voters in 1996.

This week's decision was one of several handed down in a now months-long lawsuit brought against CMG co-owners Charles Thompson and Beth Burns by the city of Murrieta—but one of a few in their favor.

"It was a pretty large victory," Burns told Patch Thursday. "The judge is doing the right thing...he has to look at the law."

The dispensary , in violation of a city ordinance that bans such operations. CMG was shut down two weeks later when against it.

Then when an appeals court lifted the injunction only to be less than two weeks later.

The city's legal battle with CMG was the first of two it is now embroiled in—the second being with Greenhouse Cannabis Club, which on Jefferson Avenue. The Murrieta Police Department was at GHCC, as part of its enforcement of the city's ban.

Murrieta City Attorney Bob Mahlowitz told Patch in February he predicted that for the next one and half years—until the Supreme Court rules—cities' fates where the bans are concerned would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

"I am hoping we will start to see some uniform response. We will see what the the Supreme Court does. But until the Supreme Court acts, there hasn't been a change in law," Mahlowitz said at the time.

Despite this latest ruling in favor of CMG, Burns said she and Thompson do not have immediate plans to reopen. CMG purchased the suite on Madison Avenue, so they now have to prepare to lease it out.

"It is a little disappointing that we can't go back to our building," Burns said.

When and if they do reopen, she said it would be in a Murrieta location—just not near a school, park, church or children's play area.

"We most likely will come back to Murrieta because that is where the ruling is, that is where is the fight began," she said.

Madamm Geeky April 13, 2012 at 02:09 PM
The idea of waging a war on drugs, against a relatively benign plant like marijuana, is one thing. But when it ravages so viciously that completely innocent people are destroyed, to hide corruption amongst government officials, it becomes a plague. What am I talking about? This film: http://www.expendable.tv So deep is the corruption, that the Australian media won't report it... won't report cables which prove criminal acts by their own ministers in office (see them for yourelf, in the reports). Granted, the media there has a closed remit and non-plural ownership, but this speaks for itself. A wall of absolute silence. The victim is now seriously ill, whilst they basically point the other way. Whilst they smear her deceased father because dead men can't sue. Whilst they cover the truth, and lead a gullible Australian public by the nose. This must be the clearest example in the world of a 'war' taking a life of its own, with innocent human beings who fall under the wheel, being disregarded by the powerful self-interest forces of government. It sickens me.
Galactic Cannibal April 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM
All I can say is: That this episode of shutting down a voter approved marijuana dispensary, puts "The land of the Free" in prison. GC
SportySpice April 13, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I am laughing!!! You mean the same Sky High that has a sex shop within 50 feet? Please.
Wash Voter April 13, 2012 at 05:41 PM
When a teen is caught with alcohol we don't: -close the store where they got it, and all other stores in the state -demand the store provide a list of everyone who legally purchased alcohol there -reinstate the Volstead act -overturn the will of the voting majority -circumvent all progress made by society in regard to the issue
Dog April 13, 2012 at 05:45 PM
We live in the Socialist State of California, this should have ceased to be a problem long ago...
Ciro Canale April 13, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Going around and around just wasting time and money People smokes and do drugs and get drunk just deal with you got not a real laws.
Andy April 13, 2012 at 07:37 PM
If people voted to have medical marijuana, then people who use it need somewhere to get it. Expecting all patients to grow for themselves isn't realistic. Who will they get the seeds or plants from, drug dealers? Drug dealers do not care for their product or if they rip you off. Cities and counties across the state should work to keep medical marijuana far away from the black market. Riverside County is making the wrong choice by choosing not to work with the dispensaries. This is just another example of the failure of the war on drugs.
LBV Collins April 14, 2012 at 01:08 PM
It’s sad that our Murrieta Council Members have taken the stance that MMJ dispensaries pose a nuisance and therefore must be banned from our city. I think they have unwittingly made the alleged problem worse, not better. By banning legitimate businesses from providing patients with their doctor recommended medicine in a safe environment, they force those same patients to seek the assistance of black market drug dealers, thus promoting MORE criminal activity, not less.
LBV Collins April 14, 2012 at 01:09 PM
To our Council Members: If you won’t listen to those of us who say it’s time to stop banning MMJ dispensaries and treating marijuana users as criminals, then at least listen to what Evangelical Christian Pat Robertson says about this subject: "I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol. I've never used marijuana and I don't intend to, but it's just one of those things that I think. This war on drugs just hasn't succeeded… It makes no sense at all." [1] When a conservative Evangelical such as Pat Robertson says our anti-marijuana drug laws make no sense and that it's time to legalize marijuana, then I think it's safe to say he views our current “cure for the problem” to be substantially worse than its legitimate legal use. And it IS legal in California to use Medical Marijuana recommended by a doctor. Please, Council Members, rethink your stance on banning MMJ dispensaries. Please remove the bans and provide our citizens with safe access to their doctor recommended medicine. 1. Robertson’s comments as noted by Fareed Zakaria: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/30/zakaria-incarceration-nation-2/
tifeni April 15, 2012 at 12:46 AM
SkyHigh was very happy that the dispensary was closed. While it was open, they were constantly having to move undesirable people out of the enclosed garbage recepticle area and now they won't allow any of the employees to take out the trash alone. Since that dispensary was closed down, the problem has ceased. Murrieta's ordinance is there to protect us from those who wish to use this drug illegally. If I recall correctly, the ordinance did allow dispensaries to establish inside medical facilities, so why don't they just rent space inside medical buildings? If Medical Marijuana helps a patient in need, then I am sure they won't object to buying it from a facility inside a medical building . As for the Dream Box, SkyHigh doesn't like that either,they have had to have vehicles towed from their parking lot that belong to citizens who don't want their car in the DB parking lot...someone might recognize it and know they were in there!
Don Lambert April 15, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Over 700 dispensaries with permits from their city or county have been operating in California with very few problems, some of them for years. They have had no more problems with robbers than banks and mini-marts. In place where cities try to prohibit them they spring up anyway, but more likely are run by persons less likely to provide good quality medicine, not contaminated with pesticids or mold.
Don Lambert April 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM
One large CA city that has allowed four large scale dispensaries over the past several years is so pleased with the activity they recently votes to permit eight in the city.
Don Lambert April 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM
The CA MMJ laws REQUIRE that the marijuana be grown INSIDE CALIFORNIA, NOT IN OTHER STATES AND NOT IN MEXICO. Some city council members in nearby cities (not Murrieta) have said they did not want to permit a dispensary in their city because they did not want to help the Mexican Drug Cartels. That shows they did not even consider the basic fact that to be legal it must be grown in CA. .
Don Lambert April 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM
More people in the United States die every month from Oxycodone overdoses than have died from overdosing smoked cannibis in the whole world over the past 300 years. Cannibis is less addictive than coffee. Oxycodone is highly addictive. On the street it is now more expensive than heroin. So why the hysteria about Cannibis? Why are not the police raiding and shuting down all the Murrieta stores that sell Oxycodone? Or why does not the city council rule that no store within 600 feet of a school can sell oxycodone, or any of the other drugs that easily cause death by overdose? Yeah, I know, That is because the DEA says those drugs are ok but the DEA says Cannibis is not ok. Well much of the public has been brought up on all the lies about it that have been spread over the past seventy years by those who are making billions of dollars on their other products by keeping cannibis and hemp illegal. (Hemp is cannibis plants grown close together making very little THC and useful for fibers for rope, cloth, paper, and really thousands of other products. Hemp is grown legally in 31 other industrial countries. A person does not get high smoking hemp. Hemp grown for motor car fuel make three times as much fuel per acre as corn ethanol. Hemp makes lots of good healty foods. But the DEA says we can not grow it in the USA. Again why? The DEA says its because the hemp plant looks like marijuana.
Don Lambert April 15, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Statewide Prop 19 to legalize recreational marijuana in CA failed to pass statewide in 2010. There were some issues in the wording that bothered some recreational users. The preample to it stated that nothing in it would impact medical marjuana users. HOWEVER there was nothing within the text of the Prop 19 law assuring that protection. There are other laws where the preamble gets widely ignored and the police and prosecutors apply the law where the preamble says it does not apply. Also it appeared to put the process of growing and processing marijuana in the hands of a few large producers. These reasons might wipe out the practice of small groups of medical marijuana users and growers to collectively assoiciate to grow, process and share. Therefore many MMJ patients AND many recreational users did not support or even actively opposed prop 19 in 2010. HOWEVER there are MANY cities and counties that DID approve prop 19 in 2010 by a substantial majority like 55 to 45 or more to legalize recreational marijuana. This is remarkable considering how much money pharma corporations, alchohol producers nd sellers, and other industries that profit from MJ being kept illegal opposed it. There are no compariable deep pocket corporations or unions to support MJ or MMJ., There are some activists and organizations working for legalization but they do not have much money to get signatures for new proposals onto the state ballot, nor advertise it if they do get one on.
Don Lambert April 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM
A number of groups like the California Police Chiefs Association donated a lot of money to defeat Prop 19 in 2010. I read that the named group donated $360,000 to a Sacramento lobbyist for this purpose. I have not kept up with the status of three proposed props for the 2012 ballot are comming along with their signature drives. I read there are some well written proposals qualified for signature gathering, but were handicapped by lack of funds for hired petition gathers and not enough volunteers good. At least one of these covers the bases by (1) Including the requirement that under CA law marijuana is not a schedule one drug so state officers cannot arrest for it under state law. And (2), State and local police officials SHALL NOT assist federal officers in marijuana raids. This is a currently a huge cash cow for many of the state officers getting paid overtime for raids. This is a huge leverage for them and for DAs to brag to the public. For example they DO brag they arrested 500 dangerous drug felons in recent raids. But the fact may be 400 of them only had a little marijuana and no hard drugs, and maybe about 40 were dealing cocaine or meth. Plus they like to raid marijuana stores. They take all the money, and computers and many other valuables and keep them for their own department use. Many times charges are not filed, but they keep the money and valuables. They tell the victims that if they file for a court order to get it back them they will file charges.

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