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City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is digging his heels in, refusing to give ground to medical marijuana patients and dispensary owners who have filed lawsuits against the City of San Diego.

Days after Mayor Bob Filner announced Neighborhood Code Compliance would no longer target dispensaries and collectives for code violations, Goldsmith asked lawyers representing medical marijuana patients and dispensary owners to agree to waive lawyer fees and court costs.

Lawyers for the litigants, however, refused that offer.

On January 14, the City Attorney fired back in a letter, later posted by medical marijuana advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access.

"Unfortunately, you refused," writes Goldsmith. "Instead, you seized upon this request to make allegations. demands and threats. Thus, you are trying to transform what was a good faith effort by the Mayor to resolve the dispensary issue through legislation into a sword aimed at the City's legal position."

In his letter, the City Attorney accused the lawyers and respondents of trying to play "hardball "with the City.

"You did not win any case in court. All of the marijuana dispensaries in these 12 cases have been shut down. We won and would be entitled to costs. The Mayor is giving your clients a reprieve in light of his effort to work with the dispensaries on a legislative solution.

"You are overplaying your hand through "hardball" tactics. A dismissal without prejudice without having to pay our costs and with waiver of your costs is what you get. If the Mayor wants to do otherwise, you are welcome to reach a separate agreement with him on this. We won't be a party to the City paying costs or fees."

The City Attorney didn't stop there, calling the claim that Mayor Filner's announcement effectively ends the ban on dispensaries as being "ridiculous."

"The Mayor cannot change the law and he hasn't tried to do so. What he has said is that he wants to end enforcement actions and, instead. focus on an ordinance."

On their website, representatives from Americans for Safe Access says Goldsmith has got it all wrong. They accuse the City Attorney of not following the Mayor's directive by not agreeing to a full resolution with the respondents.

"The City Attorney misleads the carbon copied recipients by insinuating [respondent Dexter Padilla] is quibbling over fees when in actuality Dexter simply requests a true end to his case as was intended by the Mayor. The statement also suggests the respondents are free to take the unethical action of approaching the City’s client, the Mayor, for a “separate agreement” thus further harassing litigants and indicating Goldsmith’s disregard for the Mayor’s request."

Read Goldsmith's letter here.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Jan. 18, 2013 @ 5:44 p.m.

Man, this is hard for me, but Squirrel Head is right on this one, the potheads are not entitled to lawyer fees or court costs when the Mayor gave them a pass.

The ONLY way I can see the potheads winning is if the had a very strong case and were likely to win at trial,

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Justin Powell Jan. 20, 2013 @ 1:45 p.m.

Dear SurfPuppy619,

Normally you are a very astute & wise contributor & commenter but I must take offense with you calling the medical marijuana patients "potheads." Many, if not most of these people using medicinal hemp are the ill, infirm and terminal patients who are not puffing on joints to get high but to relieve their various medical conditions. As for Jan Goldsmith's harrumphing about the matter, I do recall it was the trifecta of persecutors by the names of Goldsmith, Duffy & Dumanis who put their heads together and went after legally-operating (under state law) dispensaries and targeted them for closure. In my book, these businesses that have suffered from the ill-advised crusade of the Republican witch-hunters should be entitled to whatever damages they can prove in court.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 20, 2013 @ 2:26 p.m.

Yes, the pothead comment was over the top.

Many people do use pot to relieve pain from cancer and other serious ills. Sorry about the comment. No more.

Sometimes you try to be funny and it just ends up being a dumb comment,

As for Dumbass, Duffy and Squirrel Head Toupee, I cannot stand ANY of them, especially Dumbass. But in this case I think Goldsmith is correct, and I don't care for the guy at all, but the 420 stores should not be going after lawyer fees and costs under these circumstance, where Filner ordered the C-A to stop going after them. The dispensaries did not win on merit, but on default. Going after lawyer fees in that situation is not fair and the court will almost certainly not allow it.

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