The City of Fountain Valley will sit tight on its municipal ban on medical marijuana under the assumption that the latest court case on the issue will reach the state Supreme Court, City Attorney Alan Burns said Thursday.
"The law's kind of a mess," Burns said. "I'd hope we'd hear something within the year because it's kind of an important issue and I'd hope the Supereme Court would look into it so cities can figure out how to tackle it."
A three-justice panel of the that Los Angeles County's ban on medical marijuana is "preempted" by state law.
The decision by the state appeals court also rejected bans imposed by municipalities trying to excise the shops from their boundaries. A number of cities in Orange County, including Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Dana Point and Lake Forest, have taken to the courts to battle dispensaries operating in their cities.
Fountain Valley had a study mortorium in place until its three extensions had all been exhausted, and passed an ordinance in 2011 banning any use of marijuana that's in conflict with either state or federal law.
Burns said it's likely the state's high court would end up with this latest case because two similar cases are already on its docket, and adding a third would create a unified ruling. Should the state Supreme Court hear the case and then uphold Monday's ruling, Burns said, Fountain Valley would almost certainly have to reconsider its existing ordinance.
"The California Supreme Court will decide the issue for us," he said. "For now, the city will leave its ordinance in place and see what happens."