Judge says Riverside County can't close medical marijuana shops

A jar of medical marijuana
A jar of medical marijuana Photo by Dank Depot via Flickr Creative Commons

A judge has ruled Riverside County can't close medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas because it doesn't give them any room to operate legally under state law.

The Riverside Press Enterprise reports Judge Ronald Taylor issued his ruling Friday on the county's ban on pot clinics. The newspaper said a county attorney vowed to appeal.

Taylor's ruling adds to an array of conflicting court decisions across the state about whether local municipalities can prohibit dispensaries. One California appellate court says cities and counties can ban pot shops, another court has said they can't.

The state Supreme Court has decided to hear the various cases but has yet to set a hearing date.

California voters approved medical marijuana use in 1996 with a doctor's recommendation.

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