Ordinance Prohibiting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Plus Criminal & Insurance Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 19, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Qualified Patients Ass'n v. City of Anaheim, G040077, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order sustaining the city's demurrer to plaintiffs' complaint without leave to amend, in plaintiffs' action against the City of Anaheim, seeking a declaratory judgment that state's medical marijuana laws preempted the city's ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries within the city.


In affirming in part, the court held that the trial court correctly concluded plaintiffs failed to state a cause of action under the Unruh Act, which is aimed at "business establishments," not local government legislative acts.  However, the court reversed in part, as the trial court erred as a matter of law in concluding federal regulation of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act preempted California's decision in the Compassionate Use Act and the Medical Marijuana Program Act to decriminalize specific medical marijuana activities under state law.

People v. Schmitz, G040641, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant of four misdemeanors pursuant to a guilty plea, following the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia found on the floor in the rear passenger area of his car, based on a search premised on the parolee status of a passenger in defendant's car.  In reversing the conviction, the court held that a mere passenger in a vehicle, who claims neither a possessory nor property interest therein, lacks the "common authority" over the vehicle which would allow him either to consent or object to its search.  Thus, the parole status of such a passenger cannot be relied upon as the sole basis to justify such a search.

MRI Healthcare Ctr. of Glendale, Inc. v. State Farm Gen. Ins. Co., B213985, involved an action against an insurer for denying plaintiff's claim under a business insurance policy for loss as a result of claimed damage to its MRI machine and loss of income after the machine failed to satisfactorily "ramp up" after it was "ramped down."

In affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant-insurer, the court held that, under the evidence presented in this record, the court did not err in determining that insurer was entitled to a judgment as a matter of law because plaintiff did not suffer an "accidental direct physical" loss under Coverage A or Coverage B.  The court rejected plaintiff's remaining contentions as they were without merit.  Also, the same reasons that support the court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment support the denial of plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.  Lastly, plaintiff has no basis to maintain a claim for breach of the covenant of good faith, and lacking such a claim, there is no basis for an award of punitive damages.

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