Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Court Will Not Enjoin Medical Marijuana Limits In Suit By Minister

In Harris v. City of Clearlake, (ND CA, Oct. 10, 2017), a California federal district court refused to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the city of Clearlake, California from enforcing its regulations on growing  of medical marijuana against a church that cultivated cannabis for sacramental purposes. The court denied the claim by the church itself because it was not represented by an attorney, and the church's minister who filed the case pro se cannot represent the church since he is not a member of the bar.  As to the claim by the church's minister on his own behalf, the court concluded that the city's regulations are a neutral law of general applicability, and that the minister failed to show that enforcement infringes on his right to use marijuana as a religious sacrament:
[T]he ordinance permits Harris to cultivate six living marijuana plants subject to permitting, enclosure and spatial restrictions. Harris has not shown that six plants are insufficient to meet his personal religious needs, or that he cannot obtain marijuana plants to satisfy his religious needs through other means.