Attorney For Patients In Pack Vs. Long Beach Speaks Out
Joe | Aug 23, 2012 | Comments 0
“The patients in Pack won at the appellate court level,” Matthew Pappas said in a statement. ”The excessive permit fee, permitting, and permit lottery parts of 5.87 were deemed invalid by the appellate court. It was the City of Long Beach that asked the Supreme Court to review the Pack appellate decision—not the patients. When the City repealed Chapter 5.87, the issue the City had spent huge amounts of money asking the Supreme Court to review became moot. As a result, the City’s Petition was dismissed. The patients won at the appellate court level and they won today when the Supreme Court dismissed the City’s petition for review.
“Long Beach should have, following the decision by the appellate court in Pack, severed the few provisions of Chapter 5.87 that were deemed illegal. Instead, it asked for review and then made moot its own case before the Supreme Court by repealing 5.87. This is further evidence of the incompetence in the City Attorney’s office as well as the outrageous behavior of council members who care more for themselves and their political aspirations than the citizens they are supposed to be serving.
“How many of the absolutely horrible roads in Long Beach could have been repaired using the millions of dollars the City has spent on just this issue? How many school books could have been purchased with the thousands of dollars spent by the City Attorney trying to get the Supreme Court to grant review? How many dollars will taxpayers have to pay out because Shannon and the police engaged outrageous tactics raiding collectives, destroying cameras, and injuring patients? Why was all of that money spent when Long Beach has a medical marijuana tax law—LBMC Chapter 3.80.260? Under 3.80.260 (which taxes medical cannabis at 15%), Long Beach could be generating much needed tax dollars for road repairs or schools or public safety. Instead, it has spent money it doesn’t have making utterly incompetent decisions. It has also exposed future millions of tax dollars because of discriminatory actions it has taken against patients.”
Advocates in Long Beach say that the city should now reinstate the original ordinance governing dispensaries, the one the city abandoned after the appellate court ruling in Pack v. City of Long Beach. ”The rationale is that review is not needed because [Matthew] Pappas [viz. the attorney who filed the Pack case] withdrew its argument that 5.87 is preempted by federal law, and also because 5.87′s repeal made the review of its legality moot,” writes Carl Kemp, spokesperson for the Long Beach Collective Association (LBCA) in a release. “What this means is that the federal preemption argument is now moot. The Court of Appeals decision, which was already depublished and therefore not good law anyway, was based solely on the federal preemption. And since that was an argument made by Pappas, when Pappas withdrew his argument, that effectively means no more federal preemption. So there is NOTHING standing in the way now for the City Council to REINSTATE 5.87!”
All of this legal maneuvering basically means that cities that based dispensary bans based on the appellate decision in Pack now have no legal precedent for their actions. And it likely means that the battle between officials and patients in Long Beach will continue.