Mountain View Voice

News - April 30, 2010

Pot club owner initiates court battle with city

by Daniel DeBolt

In hopes of taking the issue all the way to the state Supreme Court, the operator of a newly opened medical marijuana dispensary in Mountain View is suing the city over its ban on pot clubs.

Matt Lucero, a well-to-do lawyer who lives in Campbell, filed the suit after the City Council voted last week to take legal action to close down Buddy's Cannabis Patient Collective, which he runs with a dozen other members.

The dispensary opened April 10 at 2632 Bayshore Parkway despite Mountain View's temporary ban, which took effect in March and was supposed to buy the city time to craft regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries — an idea which, ironically, a council majority seems to support.

The central issue in Lucero's lawsuit is whether Mountain View's temporary ban on medical marijuana dispensaries is legal under state law. But that question may soon be settled in an appellate court in Southern California in the case of Qualified Patients Association vs. the City of Anaheim, which could decide the legality of that city's ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. A ruling in that case, expected within the next few months, could have major implications for city bans on dispensaries statewide.

If Anaheim wins, Lucero said, he will continue his lawsuit in hopes a Northern California appellate court disagrees. "Then it goes to California Supreme Court — that's my strategy," he said.

"I'm going to spend millions of my own money to do this," he added. "Maybe they will fine me thousands of dollars a day. Maybe they will fine our landlord. I already told them — 'I'll pay it.'"

But if Anaheim loses its case, "basically we win," Lucero said.

Interim city attorney Jannie Quinn is named as a defendant in the case along with the city itself. "I'm going after her personally because she's lied to me," Lucero said.

He claims that in a visit to the dispensary a few weeks ago, "She said she was impressed and invited me to draft an ordinance" for medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

"She said she was looking forward to helping sick people of Mountain View," he said. But after looking into it more, he said, it was apparent that "She's been the catalyst of the (city's opposition) the whole time."

Quinn was not available for comment by press time.

Lucero's suit demands that the city pay the dispensary's legal fees along with damages for "emotional distress, mental anguish, physical pain and suffering" for violating the dispensary's "constitutional rights."

He says he's fighting for Mountain View's "downtrodden" — "over 200 qualified patients" who need medical marijuana for various health conditions, "folks arriving on bicycles, wheelchairs and with canes" who Lucero says have thanked him profusely for opening the only dispensary in the area.

The city has yet to file its own lawsuit, but Lucero said he expects one by the end of the week. The city has hired an outside law firm, San Francisco-based Hanson Bridgett, to handle the case.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

Comments

Posted by sad, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Drugs alter your state of mind and have a negative impact on your body. Majority of people on this earth do not NEED marijuana, they just smoke/ingest it to fill a void in their lives. I have problems just like everyone else out there. Some of them include: ADHD, stress and high anxiety, but I will never "smoke weed" to make everything better. People with terminal illnesses that are SUFFERING should be able to have access to medicinal marijuana, but it should stay out of the hands of everyone else. If that means patients will have to drive to a pharmacy or hospital to obtain their drugs, then so be it. But having "dispensaries" in our neighborhoods is one of the worst ideas ever. If sick people are able to travel to a dispensary, then they can travel to a hospital or pharmacy, where there are way more restrictions. These dispensaries will cause a lot of problems and until they do it correctly, I do not think anything like this should be allowed. I'm all for helping people who are sick and have terminal illnesses, but like I said, it needs to be done correctly.


Posted by Citizen, a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm

This lawyers wreaks of arrogance and self-importance. I hope he spends plenty of his own money. More likely, he's using this issue and the city to as a publicity stunt hoping it will pay off down the road.


Posted by the dude, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

what is really going on is all about an herb...when eaten or smoked it changes your outlook on the world, and makes you feel better or "stoned" or whatever, "evil weed" has been beaten into the American psyche, to the point people are afraid of the roadside weed and the public had better do the research themselves, 2 books will do the trick #1) The Great Book of Hemp (Rowan) and #2) The Emperor Wears No Clothes (thanks Jack Herer, and r. i. p. ) these books must become required reading for an intelligent solution... Oh and hey Opiates like Heroin etc. and Cocaine are the (sad but) true economic backbones of America, The first tax was for Booze.... so relax and let's see if the simple weed can save America again like it did in WWII (the fiber) and Booze during the last depression. I hate tax but it's better than jailing 100's of 1000's 0f Americas kids and people. Although "Prison Industries" is run by jailers and their union and weed smokers are favored for their kickback attitudes so do the math, I think their are plenty of jobs at 13cents an hour, so we can compete with China for cheap labor, it's just a "weed" he he he... cannabis culture is also a great resource as well as erowid.com


Posted by Mt View Resident, a resident of North Whisman
on May 3, 2010 at 8:49 am

Just the fact that this lawyer who has filed suit is so open about his intentions to take this all the way to the Supreme Court is enough to turn me off.

Whatever happened to doing what was best for society as a whole, and not letting individuals put their agendas on the majority's platter?

Cases like these are what is wrong with America. Not to mention what is wrong with our court system nowadays. No wonder it is so hard to get a "speedy trial" with all the fluff that ties up our courts' time. Boo!


Posted by Ted, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I need some medical marijuana to listen to Bjork.


Posted by Jonathan Lustig, a resident of Castro City
on Jul 23, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Imagine 14 years after slavery was abolished...
Imagine 14 after segregation was outlawed...
Imagine 14 years after women were allowed the right to vote...
Imagine 14 years after our fellow Asian American citizens were informed that they were allowed to leave the concentration camps...
Imagine individual cities and individual municipalities impeding and blatantly ignoring the civil rights of all these people, 14 years after they were legally acknowledged...what would you do??
Today, there are countless physically and psychologically disabled patients all around us who can substantially benefit from utilizing the Cannabis plant.
We voted and passed the Compassionate Use Act eons ago in 1996.
Was it deplorable that Matt Lucero opened up a wellness center here in Mountain View after a moratorium was in place..or was it despicable that we forced him to close his doors and stop helping the hundreds and thousands of patients which considered him a godsend??
There are many nights where I cant sleep because I repeatedly think about patients and their loved ones circumstances.
Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Depression, Insomnia..the list consists of hundreds of ailments.
I am sure Matt is haunted by similar voices and feels helping these people is his ethical responsibility as a decent human being.
Once you facilitate in bettering sick and suffering patients lives, there is nothing else in the world that you would want to do more.
Peace be with you all.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields