Thursday, December 14, 2017

Injunction Denied Again In Church Founder's Suit Over Marijuana Cutivation

In Harris v. City of Clearlake, (ND CA, Dec. 12, 2017), a California federal district court for the second time (see prior posting) denied a preliminary injunction, and dismissed with leave to amend, a religious discrimination suit brought by the founder of the Church of the Greater Faith & Redemption. The Church cultivates cannabis for sacramental purposes.  Plaintiff claims that his free exercise rights were infringed by the issuance against him of an administrative citation for violating a city ordinance regulating the growing of marijuana, and threats to close down the church's activities if plaintiff did not comply.  The court held that plaintiff had not shown how his exercise of religion was burdened.  Moreover, the ordinance at issue is a neutral law of general applicability.

UPDATE: A second amended complaint was dismissed in 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17742 (Feb. 2, 2018) for containing no new allegations.