SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) – Several local dispensaries were raided, and at least 11 people were arrested for operating illegally under the county laws.
"For some people, it's the only type of medication they can actually take," said Linda Blanco who is extremely upset the dispensaries were shut down.
Blanco is a nursing assistant and said closing down medical marijuana shops is critically harming patients.
"[It] helps with many things, so for them who can't drive or can't get it themselves or have to go out of the city, it's ridiculous. It's just not fair," she said.
On Friday, four medical marijuana dispensaries were raided in San Joaquin County and shut down, two others put on notice this week.
"Coming in and raiding it like it's a drug cartel or something like that is the way of the past," said Allen Sawyer who is an attorney for at least 6 of the 11 people arrested during the raids.
Sawyer said the shops were around before the county enacted an ordinance against dispensaries, and laws are changing statewide.
"Just recently the county voted to rescind the ban on medical marijuana, but they are in the process of coming up with an ordinance before January 2018, so we are kind of in a limbo stage right now," he said.
But according to the county, it’s illegal.
"We have an explicit ban that's been on the books since 2010," said Mark Myles with the county counsel.
The county is working on a solution to allow dispensaries in certain commercial areas but says now it's strictly against the law.
"There won't be any local permits until the Board of Supervisors takes further action to adopt an ordinance that allows that," he said.
Sawyer said the medical marijuana clubs pay taxes just like any other business but are missing a county permit.
"There's a civil case that San Joaquin initially lodged that's still in the courts. But instead of letting that play out, they went this approach, and we think it's a little heavy handed," he said.
The defendants will be back in court next month to face felony charges. The judge ordered the shops to remain closed.