California’s Supreme Court rules to allow cities to ban medicinal marijuana dispensaries

May 6, 2013

Lev Goukassian, owner of the Nirvana Pha

Lev Goukassian, owner of the Nirvana Pharmacy, a medical marijuana shop in Los Angeles, California, works on his products.; Credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

California’s Supreme Court has unanimously ruled to allow local governments to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within their borders. The ruling will allow cities and counties to restrict access to medical marijuana by shutting down pot shops within city limits. 

Medical marijuana is legalized in California, and the drug is decriminalized throughout the state, but this most recent ruling from the California Supreme Court could result in the closure and criminalization of medical marijuana dispensaries. 

Should local governments be able to restrict access to dispensaries? What will happen to the shut down shops? What does the ruling mean for California citizens who smoke legal medical marijuana? 


Frank Stoltze, KPCC reporter

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