Malinda Traudt's Suit Argues State Constitution Should Keep Her Dana Point Collective Open

A San Clemente woman born with epilepsy, blindness and cerebral palsy has filed the first lawsuit by a medical-marijuana patient alleging Dana Point's dispensary ban unconstitutionally interferes with her fundamental rights to life and safety under the California Constitution, according to her attorney.

Traditional medications did not stop the pain suffered when 29-year-old Malinda Traudt came down with osteoporosis in the last two years. However, using cannabis supplied by Beach Cities Collective in Capistrano Beach brought her dramatic relief, states Jeff Schwartz, her lawyer, in a press release.

Traudt's family had been told to look for hospice before she turned to medical marijuana. Her mother, Shelly White, pushed her into Beach Cities instead--and discovered what they call "life-saving medicine."

But Dana Point in March sued six medical marijuana dispensaries in an effort to shut them down, arguing such clinics are not allowed under municipal code. The suit Traudt filed in Orange County Superior Court seeks a permanent injunction preventing the city from attempting to shut down the collective.

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If that fails, "I guess I'll have to buy it from the drug dealers," White tells the Orange County Register's Vik Jolly.

Schwartz notes that Orange County judges have sided with dispensary-banning cities--most recently Lake Forest--because their attorneys have successfully argued such establishments violate local zoning laws.

"Cities always win that battle," he states in his release. "However, when a city interferes with a person's fundamental, constitutional rights, it must prove that the ban serves a compelling public interest and is narrowly tailored to avoid interfering with other civil rights. And, the city almost always loses."

That is why Traudt's suit is based on the Compassionate Use Act (Prop 215) and the California Constitution, which grants everyone the right to life and safety. "In Malinda's case life requires medicine," Schwartz says, "and the city of Dana Point is interfering with that."

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