Cerebral Palsy Victim Sues City Over Medical Marijuana

May 19, 2010 – SANTA ANA, Calif. — Malinda Traudt may be blind and wheelchair-bound but she and her mother are fighters.  So, when the City of Dana Point threatened to shut down the collective where they get the medical marijuana Malinda needs to stay alive and manage her pain, they filed suit.

Malinda was born with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, total blindness, and severe cognitive delays.  Now 29 years old, she has been in a wheelchair her entire life.  Recently, she was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease.  Malinda’s doctor gave her pain medication but, within hours, her kidneys began shutting down, her lungs filled with fluid causing pneumonia, she developed a high fever, and vomited for 3 straight days.  Malinda’s physician recommended that her mother contact hospice to arrange for Malinda’s final hours.

In a last-ditch effort to keep Malinda alive while managing her pain, Malinda’s mother and her pain specialist replaced the pain medication with medical marijuana.  Almost immediately, Malinda’s fever subsided, she stopped vomiting, and her suffering lessened.  Within days, she began to recover.  Malinda’s kidneys regained function, she was able to eat, and she began smiling again.  Her pain became manageable and her quality of life improved significantly.

Malinda is a medical marijuana patient and member of the Beach Cities Collective in Dana Point.  Malinda’s mother pushes her, in her wheelchair, to the collective to obtain her life-saving medicine.  Unfortunately, Dana Point is trying to close Beach Cities Collective, along with all collectives in that City.

Although numerous lawsuits have been filed by dispensaries, Malinda’s is the first by a patient alleging that the ban unconstitutionally interferes with her fundamental rights to life and safety, under the California Constitution.

According to Malinda’s attorney, Jeff Schwartz, “When a dispensary challenges a ban, the city simply has to show that the ban serves a legitimate purpose, such as reducing crime, loitering, or traffic.  Cities always win that battle.  However, when a city interferes with a person’s fundamental, constitutional rights, it must prove that the ban serves a compelling public interest and is narrowly-tailored to avoid interfering with other civil rights.  And, the city almost always loses.”  Source.

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