Friday, April 4, 2014

WA Court of Appeals: Local ordinances can ban medical marijuana gardens

Earlier this week, the Washington State Court of Appeals affirmed the City of Kent’s authority to prohibit medical marijuana collective gardens from operating in the city.

After Kent adopted an ordinance prohibiting collective gardens throughout the city, challengers sued, arguing that state medical marijuana legislation permitted collective gardens throughout the state, thus Kent could not exclude collective gardens from its zoning districts.

This week, the court of appeals affirmed a lower court decision and found that statute does not legalize the use of medical marijuana.  Therefore, medical marijuana use, including the establishment of collective gardens, was not legalized. In its decision, the court wrote, “ . . . collective gardens are not legal activity. The Ordinance, by prohibiting collective gardens, prohibits an activity that constitutes an offense under state law. As it prohibits an activity that is also prohibited under state law, the Ordinance does not conflict with the MUCA” (Medical Use of Cannabis Act).

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