Medical marijuana patients aren't sitting idly by watching city attorney and city council wage a legal battle against illegal dispensaries and the landlords that lease space to them.
On August 13, eight medical marijuana patients filed a complaint against the city and mayor Kevin Faulconer for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by imposing harsh land use restrictions on dispensaries and collectives.
The complaint is an example of medical marijuana patients and their attorneys trying to chop down the city's medical marijuana ordinance by using state and federal law.
In April of this year, as reported by the Reader, a Los Angeles attorney filed a complaint alleging the city council's newly adopted ordinance violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by forcing patients to drive long distances to obtain their medicine. That case is ongoing.
The new complaint uses federal and state disability laws as well as the state's medical marijuana act to poke holes in the ordinance.
One of the patients, according to the complaint, has been diagnosed with AIDS. All of which participate in private, not-for-profit collectives which claim to abide by the state's medical marijuana law.
"For purposes of those parts of this Complaint that allege violation of and that seek relief under federal disability law, each of the Plaintiff patients suffer from, have a record of, or is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits at least one (1) major life activity including, but not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and/or working. If such physical or mental impairment suffered by any of the Plaintiff patients is episodic or in remission, the impairment limits a major life activity when active."
The complaint accuses public officials and city employees of enacting legislation as if San Diego were a sovereign nation.
"By using taxpayer dollars to violate state law...the Defendants are harming all taxpayers, including the Plaintiffs. A city is not a separate sovereign in California and thus wastes taxpayer dollars in violation of 526a any time it violates the provisions of state law, whether statutory or case law based."
Attorney Matthew Pappas is asking a judge to suspend enforcement of the ordinance until the conclusion of the case.