Long Beach Municipal Code Chapter 5.89, a city law banning all medical cannabis collectives, was deemed preempted by state law and invalid by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. In early July, 2012, the Ca. Second District Court of Appeal struck-down Los Angeles County Code section 22.56.196(B), a ban of all collectives similar to LBMC 5.89. In an order dated August 17, 2012, in Victoria Pappas v. City of Long Beach, LASC No. BC484645, Judge James R. Dunn wrote, “LBMC Chapter 5.89 is virtually identical to LACC 22.56.196(B) and is therefore preempted by state law.” Matthew Pappas, attorney for Victoria Pappas, his daughter and plaintiff in the case, said “The Judge’s decision properly reflects the law in California and protects patients like Tori from discriminatory laws like 5.89.” According to Pappas, his daughter was severely injured in an assault last year. After undergoing emergency brain surgery and a lengthy hospital visit, she was prescribed opiate based pain medication. She discontinued use of the opiate-based pain medication and switched to medical cannabis through a licensed doctor recommendation. In the suit, she alleged that the LBMC 5.89 ban prevented her from accessing cannabis medication while patients who use more dangerous drugs like Oxycontin and Lortabs can simply walk into any corner pharmacy without fear of police raids or attacks. Attorney Pappas noted that the judge’s order operates to invalidate Chapter 5.89 and that he will be filing additional motions next week in the case.
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