The California Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on whether local governments can ban marijuana dispensaries in view of the state's 1996 voter-approved law legalizing pot for medical use.
Many California cities have banned dispensaries including here on the Central Coast.
The court case involves the Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, which more than two years ago sued to block Riverside's dispensary ban, arguing that cities and counties cannot bar activities legal in California.
A state appeals court sided with Riverside, and now the Supreme Court, faced with similar legal tangles across the state, has jumped into the fray.
The stakes are high in California's ongoing struggle pitting medical marijuana advocates against cities worried about problems associated with some of the dispensaries, such as lax control over the distribution of a drug that remains illegal under federal law.