SANTA ANA (AP) — A state appeals panel says an Orange County judge must hear a lawsuit challenging the city of Anaheim’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

City News Service says the Fourth District Court of Appeal finalized the ruling Monday, after the California Supreme Court refused to hear Anaheim’s appeal of the decision it first handed down in August.

The justices ruled that Superior Court Judge David Chaffee wrongly dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Qualified Patients Association in 2007 based on the argument that federal marijuana laws trump state law.

They did not rule on whether state laws allowing medical marijuana pre-empt the Anaheim ordinance, and the city prevailed in its arguments that the ordinance does not violate civil rights.

Chaffee will now take up an amended version of the lawsuit.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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