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Judge rules against Auburn med-pot dispensary

By: Journal Staff Report
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A court clash over a medical marijuana dispensary the city of Auburn is seeking to close down has been postponed again. But the city’s cause has now been bolstered by a judge’s tentative ruling that supports its 1996 ban on pot dispensaries. Judge Colleen Nichols issued the tentative ruling Monday, clearing the way for arguments in the civil court case to be heard Tuesday morning. Instead, however, Nichols postponed the session another week so that she could hear what she described as an emergency criminal issue. Richard Miller, president of the currently closed Sierra Patient and Caregiver Exchange dispensary, said plans are to fight Monday’s tentative ruling. The 750 Lincoln Way shop opened in the spring but was shuttered after the city was granted a temporary restraining order by the court as it moved to secure a more-binding preliminary injunction. Sierra Patient contends state law allowing medicinal marijuana dispensaries trumps local regulations like Auburn’s. The exchange “knew of the city’s ordinances and nevertheless opened their doors and began selling medical marijuana,” Nichols stated in her opinion. “The camel’s nose approach to developing a ‘status quo’ is disingenuous to the argument that they want to be treated like any other business.” – Gus Thomson