We recently told you about police raids that put two Wittier medical marijuana dispensaries out of business. These raids reportedly used more aggression and force than those of Los Angeles County and the city of Pico Rivera, according to the Wittier Daily News.
Instead of issuing a violation notice or any threats to sue the dispensaries if they didn’t willingly close, a number of members from the local police force and those from the L.A. Impact Task Force abruptly crashed into the dispensary and caused quite a bit of unnecessary damage.
Both of these Wittier medical marijuana dispensaries were operating outside of the area allowed by the city. Our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys note that the courts have decided to toss out the criminal element of L.A.’s ordinance. This leaves the city the option to sue in civil court is they want a dispensary shut down, as these raids are prohibited. If you’ve experienced an unlawful shut down in the area, you are urged to contact an experienced medical marijuana attorney to stand up against the city and its thugs.
“They broke in the glass door and shattered it when they came in,” said Laura Kaplanian, owner of GreenReleaf Healing Center. “They trashed our place,” Kaplanian said. “They took all of the patients’ medicine (marijuana) from their hands. It was inhumane. We’re not animals.”
Kaplanian’s dispensary opened back in February, not in a location that the city allows, and said she never received any sort of letter from the city stating that she needed to close her doors.
Michael McGehee, the owner of the Apex – Alternative Patient Dispensary, said that he never received any type of notice from the city either, but was brutally raided and shut down by city police, too.
“Why not give us a cease-and-desist order?” McGehee asked. “We would have just packed up and left. This was a huge raid.”
There were three patients at the Apex facility during the time of the raid.
The Police defend their raid, saying that because the businesses were committing criminal violations and acting as for-profit by essentially selling drugs, the companies were well outside of the Compassionate Use Act.
“We were conducting an investigation and determined there were criminal violations,” said Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper.
Both dispensary owners still deny allegations and reiterate the fact that they were indeed non-profit organizations and would have cooperated with city requests. They both see the raids as an unnecessary stunt by local law enforcement.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP is a law firm dedicated to the rights of medical marijuana patients, collectives and growers and has built a reputation for high-powered, aggressive legal representation of the medical marijuana industry in Southern California. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.