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Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mohr Gives More Time To Pot Shops That Vow To Stay Open

By Steve La and Dennis Romero

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge this week heard arguments from pot shop operators and the City Attorney's office regarding the legality of L.A.'s ordinance that outlaws most medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

At Thursday afternoon's hearing downtown, representatives of 135 pot shops denied the ability to operate by the city, were granted an additional 45 days to respond to a City Attorney's lawsuit to have them shut down under the controversial L.A. law. It wasn't immediately clear if the extra time would mean that the city would continue to stand down on its enforcement of out-of-compliance pot shops.

Also at the hearing Judge Anthony J. Mohr turned down a request by the City Attorney to block the pot shops' request to see the city's evidence against them.

The City Attorney sued the 135 dispensaries that have claimed they can legally stay open in order to shut them down.

As the issue plays out in court, L.A.'s pot shop scene remains somewhat anarchic, with L.A. vowing not to enforce its law against most pot shops in the city until things were worked out in court this month.

The city's ordinance outlaws all but about 40 dispensaries, a number so low that it surprised many on the City Council who voted for the law and hoped at least 70 of the city's nearly 600 shops would remain legal.

In a separate action this month about 80 dispensaries are suing the city over the ordinance, claiming L.A. has not given them due process under the law before ordering them to close their doors.