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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | THOUSAND OAKS

Firm Loses Appeal to Sell Marijuana

July 16, 1999|JENNIFER HAMM

An appellate judge has affirmed a lower court's decision to prevent marijuana sales by a Thousand Oaks business.

Rainbow Country sold marijuana under the auspices of Proposition 215, but was shut down after a judge ruled earlier this year that the business was illegal, the district attorney's office said Thursday.

Business owner Andrea Nagy and her assistant Robert Carson appealed. But Judge William Peck affirmed the March decision.

"Any financial harm [Nagy] may suffer is outweighed by the concerns of the state in protecting its citizens from alleged illegal drug sales," said the Court of Appeals decision.

But the injunction issued in the March decision does not inhibit the lawful medicinal use of marijuana by legitimate patients, the appeals court found.

While Proposition 215 permits seriously ill patients with a physician's recommendation or approval to cultivate and possess marijuana for medicinal use, it does not authorize establishing marijuana pharmacies, like Rainbow Country, according to a statement released by the Ventura County district attorney's office.

The proposition, passed by voters in November 1996, also prohibits supplying medicinal marijuana unless there is a bona fide primary caregiver relationship between the patient and provider.

"While I am pleased with this decision to enjoin a marijuana distribution center, I believe this proposition can be lawfully implemented for individuals who are seriously ill," said Dist. Atty. Michael D. Bradbury.

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