LAKE ELSINORE, Calif., Aug. 30, 2011 — After a lengthy court battle, the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two ruled against the city of Lake Elsinore in its efforts to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries within its boundaries.
In December of 2009, the City Council members of Lake Elsinore voted to ban medical marijuana operations in the city, which included the collective called R Side Medical among other names, owned by Luis “Carlos” Stahl and his son Eric. Because the state law conflicts with the federal law on the legality of marijuana, the constitutionality of such bans are being challenged across California. Many lawyers, such as the Stahls’ attorney, Christopher M. Glew of the Law Offices of Glew & Kim, contend that the ban presents a serious legal quandary that may eventually reach the Supreme Court.
The Stahls’ collective operated under a city-issued business license in Lake Elsinore, and Carlos Stahl insists that his license did not prohibit him from distributing marijuana to its members. In March, after a four-month investigation, the city formally disagreed, serving search warrants and arresting three people, including Carlos Stahl’s wife, Carol Stahl.
“The Stahls had been a victim of police harassment for months, which showed blatant bias against the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” explains Glew. “We are happy that the Court of Appeal saw the legality of our case and ruled in favor of our client, the Stahls. This is a victory for not just the Stahls, but for the people who depend on these dispensaries for relief from illnesses.”
The Stahls will waste no time in reopening their business at its most recent location on Casino Drive, yet will be required to strictly follow all city codes, according to Lake Elsinore Code Enforcement Manager Robin Chipman.