By: Eugene Davidovich, San Diego Americans for Safe Access
VISTA, CA — On Wednesday, July 27, 2011 in a courtroom filled with supporters of safe access, Judge Maas, denied the City of Oceanside’s attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order to shut down North County Collective (NCC), a legal medical marijuana dispensary located in Oceanside, CA.
Several weeks ago, when the Oceanside City Attorney’s Office began their eradication effort by sending threatening letters to NCC, demanding they shut down, the collective immediately opened a channel of communication with the city and in good faith, began discussions regarding possible relocation as well as other options.
During these discussions the city presented John, a director of the collective with a single option; sign a letter stating that he would immediately shut down the collective, leave Oceanside, and declare in writing that for the rest of his life he would never conduct business within the City. The letter amounted to a clear and direct attempt to violate his constitutional rights.
While in the process of these discussions and without any notification as required by law to NCC or NCC’s attorney’s with whom the discussions were taking place, on July 14th, the City Attorney’s office went to court, filed a 200 page document filled with unfounded, wild allegations, and demanded that a temporary restraining order against NCC be issued.
The City Attorney claimed NCC was causing an urgent hazard and was a constant nuisance in the City. With the temporary restraining order in hand, that same day, a Sheriff along with a representative of the Oceanside City Attorney’s office quickly served NCC with the order and told everyone present, that unless they shut down immediately, they would all be arrested.
NCC shuttered its doors and began searching for additional representation.
At a monthly North County Americans for Safe Access meeting, John met and subsequently retained Lance Rogers, a local criminal and civil defense attorney who specializes in medical marijuana related litigation.
Mr. Rogers quickly organized an ex-parte hearing in front of Judge Maas and this morning was in court asking the Judge to lift the temporary restraining order. He argued that by not notifying NCC or their counsel, the city did not follow proper legal procedures in obtaining the temporary restraining order. He also argued the collective was not a nuisance nor was it posing any sort of hazard to the community. Judge Maas agreed.
In response to the City Attorney’s claims that NCC was not legal because they did not have a local business license, Judge Maas pointed out that there was no process to obtain one for the collective and that the City itself did not follow legal procedures when obtaining the restraining order.
The collective will re-open on Thursday of this week and is located at 913 South Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA
Although the temporary order was denied the city continues to wage its eradication campaign by filing similar injunctions against the other collectives in Oceanside as well as preparing to waste more tax payer’s dollars on litigation.
The next hearing for NCC is scheduled for August 12, 2011 at 1:30pm in Department 28 at the Vista courthouse when Judge Maas will hear arguments from both sides and decide whether the collective should be permanently shut down in accordance with the City’s demands or allowed to remain open.
North County Times Article about NCC Restraining Order - http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/oceanside/article_4af09f45-5b29-5443-8aff-a562e941920b.html