Despite this week's news that the federal government is declaring war on medical marijuana dispensaries, an attorney for one such operation that was shuttered by Dana Point officials in March 2011 says his client hasn't given up yet. Jeff Schwartz, who represents Beach City Collectives, which is challenging Dana Point's right to prohibit cannabis clubs, tells the Dana Point Times in an article published today, that the federal crackdown won't stop his client from trying to reopen.
“Given that my client is already closed, the federal government's announcement doesn't really mean anything at this point,” Schwartz says. “Our appeals will all go forward…The court has already ruled we cannot open, so we will not open until that ruling is overturned on appeal. And I have no doubt whatsoever that it will be overturned.”
Schwartz may be confident in his client's case but since 2009, when Dana Point tried to force Beach Cities Collectives and other dispensaries to hand over medical records for their members, the pro-cannabis crowd's courtroom track record doesn't provide much to be optimistic about.
To wit: in July, a judge ordered the owner of another dispensary, Holistic Health, to pay the city $1.36 million for violating the city's health and safety code. Back in March, similar fines were assessed against both Beach Cities Collective and The Point Alternative Care. Lawsuits filed by Beach Cities Collective and Holistic Health asking for $50 million in damages, have already been dismissed, according to today's Times story.
And just last week, a judge tossed out the appeal of a separate, unsuccessful lawsuit filed by Malinda Traudt, a blind, wheelchair-bound woman who suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
Meanwhile, Dana Point taxpayers have already forked over roughly $500,000 in legal bills (as of this past summer) and who knows how much more money will pay for future courtroom wrangling. Given Obama's apparent hard-on for alleged weed profiteers, whatever the final outcome of this courtroom clusterf&$k, the city could have saved a lot of cash by just waiting for the feds to seize the shops and lock up the owners on drug charges.