Growers sue to stop Yuba County medical pot ordinance
On the heels of a civil complaint seeking to have Yuba County's medical marijuana ordinance thrown out, a group of growers filed a request for a temporary restraining order Wednesday to try to stop it from even being enforced.
The complaint and the restraining order request, both filed in Yuba County Superior Court, will have their first hearing Friday morning in Department 2, said Sam McConnell, president and founder of the Yuba County Growers Association.
"It's going to cause a lot of problems, so we want to stop it now," McConnell said, adding the supporting documents include statements by growers who have already been visited by the Yuba County Sheriff's Department since the ordinance went into effect June 1.
Among the incidents cited in the filing are one on July 4 where a sheriff's deputy allegedly didn't identify himself when demanding entrance to a property where marijuana was being grown, and then said he didn't need a warrant to search the property.
"Additionally, deputies have threatened fines and penalties if the YCGA Members continue not to be in compliance," the filing states.
The request for the restraining order also cites recent case law, including a ruling from July 2 involving Los Angeles County, where a judge found, "'The County's complete ban on all medical marijuana dispensaries, including collectives and cooperatives ... conflicts with, and thus is preempted by, California's medical marijuana laws."
Groups such as the growers association have contended the county's ordinance is flawed partially because it doesn't address collectives, but actually restricts them by limiting the number of plants a medical marijuana cardholder can grow on a given parcel.
"Through Ordinance 1518, Yuba County has established a framework that constitutes a de facto ban on medical marijuana collectives, cooperatives, and dispensaries," the filing states.
McConnell said he was hopeful Judge Debra Givens, who has scheduled to hear the request Friday, would grant a restraining order, especially given the statements by locals who are affected.
County officials have consistently declined to comment on legal actions taken against the ordinance, citing them as ongoing litigation.
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