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Judge issues ruling on lawsuit over Yukon medical marijuana ordinance

YUKON, Okla. – A judge has issued a ruling in regards to a lawsuit that was filed against the city of Yukon over a recently passed medical marijuana ordinance.

The lawsuit was filed in October at the Canadian County Courthouse on behalf of Yukon resident Jason Hodge. It challenged an ordinance approved by the Yukon city council, prohibiting dispensaries to set up shop 300 feet from schools, along with churches, parks, and daycare centers. The original restriction was 1,000 feet.

“Even me as a patient, I would be limited in access in what the city has laid out in businesses that are going to be available in the city of Yukon,” Hodge said. “I’m living in fear that the police will kick down my door because of something that the state, people of the state of Oklahoma say we should be able to do.”

Hodge’s case has the backing of four separate law firms, including the Bussett Legal Group.

“We’re treating other pharmaceuticals differently than we’re treating medical marijuana. It has been enacted, it has been approved by the people and it shouldn’t be treated any differently,” said attorney Rachel Bussett. “They’ve effectively limited patient access to medical marijuana to very limited areas of the city and We contend that a) they don’t have the authority to do that under the plain language of state question 788 which prohibits cities from zoning these businesses out of a location.”

The lawsuit goes on to claim the city acted outside of its authority regarding home grow. According to court filings, the ordinance states “all permits, which include home grow permits, outlined in the Ordinance….will be subject to inspection by an authorized municipal inspector prior to issuance.”

“Here, we’re requiring individuals to go to the city, to register that they have medical cannabis in their home, to pay a fee and allow the government to come into their house and inspect. They’re basically causing you to waive your rights to allow you to come in,” Bussett said.

Yukon city manager James Crosby told News 4, the city has no intentions of checking on someone’s home.

“We don’t have enough inspectors and we made that quite clear at our meetings that we have no intention of entering anybody’s home just to check on it,” Crosby said. “We have no intention of hiring additional inspectors, code inspectors, or anything else.”

Crosby said it does, however, give the city the power to do if necessary.

“We were notified that should we pass an ordinance or do anything to restrict anybody, that they’re going to file a lawsuit,” Crosby said. “We think we have the right for health safety and welfare of the community to pass this ordinance and to make sure that we follow the law and so we’ll stand by that and see what the court rules.”

On Monday, a Canadian County judge ruled that a portion of the law could not be enforced. Particularly, the judge ruled that the city could not enforce the ordinance requiring license holders who want to grow their own plants to notify the city.

However, the judge ruled that the city's efforts to ban commercial facilities for growing, storing or processing medical marijuana is valid.

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