Madera County Closes Pot Dispensaries

September 23, 2009 12:52:31 AM PDT
It was the last day of business for at least one shop that provides medical marijuana for patients in Madera County. Supervisor Ronn Dominici was among those wanting sales to be stopped, even though its legal to use medical marijuana in California.         |   Watch Video Above for More Information on this Story   |

"We can't do anything about that because the whole state ruled they can use it. But we as a board have the authority to say whether a dispensary should be allowed or disallowed in this county." Domenici said.

The supervisors voted unanimously to ban marijuana dispensaries, ruling came despite pleas from medical marijuana users. One Madera man asked the board; "Why should I be forced to go illegal and buy it illegally instead of going to a dispensary. That would be like telling you can't have any antibiotics at Walgreens or any place else. You've got to buy them on the street. That's not right."

After the hearing Joanne Mendoza, who operates one a dispensary announced she was giving away her inventory. "I will give you the medicine today. Stop by." She shouted.

Patients rushed to her shop just North of Madera, and her marijuana, and marijuana food products were snatched up in minutes.

Joanne may challenge the county's decision in court. But ABC-30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi says it will be an uphill fight.

"I think the local communities have the right to make their decision on which businesses can operate within their areas." Capozzi said.

Capozzi added that as long as marijuana sales are against federal law, cities and counties have the right to control its sale, despite state laws.

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