Medical pot collectives plan lawsuit over San Bernardino dispensary ban – San Bernardino County Sun

SAN BERNARDINO >> At least 10 medical marijuana collectives represented by the same attorney plan to sue the city over its decision to double down on its dispensary ban, alleging that the action violated the state’s open-meeting law.

The lawsuits will be filed by Tuesday, the first business day after Friday, said Redlands-based attorney James DeAguilera.

“The city better have an explanation for doing this secretly, not putting this on the agenda,” DeAguilera said. “It doesn’t look like they do. … They’re going to have to explain it to a judge.”

City Attorney Gary Saenz didn’t return phone calls Thursday or Friday.

When Saenz announced at last Monday’s meeting that the city was reversing course on its examination of alternatives to a ban — including allowing some highly regulated dispensaries — he was clear that the examination and decision were made by the City Council without the public present, after the Legislative Review Committee had voted to send the discussion to the full council.

“During closed session within the committee, and closed session today with the full Common Council, alternatives and more aggressive methods of enforcement have been presented and discussed,” Saenz said then. “At this time, the full Common Council has, by consensus, determined that the city will continue its total land-use ban against dispensaries; will not, at this time, ordain to allow regulated dispensaries, and will incorporate additional and more aggressive methods of enforcement in our quest to rid, or significantly reduce, the number of illegal dispensaries operating in our city.”

State law allows city councils to meet in private only for certain specific purposes that must be listed on the agenda, including existing or anticipated litigation.

The agenda for Monday’s meeting lists a few of those for closed session discussion, but not marijuana specifically.

“There was no emergency — they’ve …read more