Roundup: State Bar Profiles, Plastic Bags, and Weed Ordinances - California Case Law
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Roundup: State Bar Profiles, Plastic Bags, and Weed Ordinances

It's Blue Monday, a marketing gimmick and excuse to feel depressed, but on the bright side, at least we Californians aren't in the other 90 percent of the country that is currently being assaulted with sub-zero temperatures. Plus, the 49'ers won on Sunday, so there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.

While you're reflecting on your good fortune as a Californian, here is the latest from our state bar, and legal challenges to anti-dispensary and anti-plastic bag ordinances.

State Bar Profiles: More Than a Spam Magnet

I couldn't figure out how all of these random CLE promoters, and dispute resolvers, and other spammers located my email address. Literally overnight, I went from the mystical "inbox zero" to a smattering of spam.

Oh wait, the California Bar publishes your information on your state bar profile! I logged in, fixed it, and unsubscribed from the spammers' lists.

It turns out, however, that your profile is good for more than attracting advertisements. The State Bar's most recent newsletter reminds you that you can upload a headshot, put a link to your firm's website, and list specialties and second languages.

It can't hurt, right?

Grocery Sack Suit Sacked

Is there anything more annoying than the wave of anti-plastic bag ordinances that have cropped up across the state? In the name of environmentalism, over fifty cities and counties have passed bag bans, forcing us to either (a) remember our reusable bags, (b) carry our purchases home in our arms, or (c) pay $0.10 per paper bag.

In the past year, I have remembered my reusable bags twice. Otherwise, I'm stuffing cheese slices in my back pockets and refusing to pay pennies for a paper bag.

Save the Plastic Bag Coalition (yes, that's a real thing) challenged the ordinances in San Luis Obispo and San Francisco. Needless to say, they lost. They argued that an environmental study was needed before the ordinances could be passed, as paper bags take more energy to make and occupy more space on landfills.

The appeals court, in an opinion published last week, unanimously laughed, holding that an ordinance that bans some bags and charges for others can only help the environment, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Dolphins win. Landfills and my arms lose.

Also, protip for those in the Bay Area: Santa Clara still hates dolphins. However, please check your Santa Clara county city however -- some of them are on board, i.e. Palo Alto, Los Altos, and some are not.)

Anti-Dispensary Ordinances Still Okay

Another day, another failed challenge to a local anti-dispensary ordinance.

Voters from the City of Los Angeles passed an ordinance last year that bans dispensaries that opened after the city declared a moratorium on new facilities in 2007, or if they are within 600 feet of a park, school, or child-care facility. There are an estimated 850 illegal dispensaries in the city.

Three of them sued, arguing equal protection. They lost, as the ordinance serves the rational purpose of preventing the number dispensaries from growing like weeds (pun intended) while still allowing access to medical marijuana for those in need, reports the Metropolitan News-Enterprise.

Plus, the California Supreme Court has already ruled that cities can ban dispensaries, as has an appeals court.

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