Authorities in Santa Ana have repeatedly vowed they will do whatever is necessary to crack down on medical marijuana collectives and dispensaries in the area, because they are harming society. However, during a recent raid on a Santa Ana marijuana collective, police are allegedly caught on a secret camera engaged in some very troubling behavior.
According to a recent news article in the New York Daily News, the owner of an unlicensed cannabis collective in Santa Ana learned through an anonymous source that authorities planned to raid his business. He installed hidden cameras throughout the collective when he learned of the planned raids.
When authorities entered his shop to conduct the raid, they immediately removed the visible security cameras, supposedly because they did not want their actions during the raid to be captured on a recording. However, they were unaware of the hidden camera, which was set up to record both video and audio.
In some of the more disturbing allegations, the tape appears to show the officers leading a legally blind volunteer at the collective out of the store on her motorized wheelchair and then joking with each other in a profane manner how they wanted to punch or kick the woman in the stub from her amputated leg. The police also were seen allegedly eating edible cannabis products and playing darts in the store during the raid.
The recording from this raid, which began with officers entering the collective with guns drawn and forcing people on the ground and then progressed to the officers allegedly eating cannabis and making crude jokes, was used as an exhibit in a civil rights lawsuit filed by those involved in the collective raid, as part of their civil case against the police department. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Santa Ana police department is concerned the recording was edited in such a way that it may not tell the whole story, but she said a full investigation into the officers’ conduct is underway at this time. On the other hand, the plaintiffs say the recording was cropped to remove dead air, but it was not altered in any other way, and it is hard to believe in any context where the police making fun of a disabled woman or eating marijuana products would be appropriate.
However, it should be noted, the police department and the officers involved have not been found liable in a court of law as of the time of this article, and the claims in the plaintiffs’ complaint are still unproven allegations. It should also be noted, there has been no report that any of the 12 people arrested in connection with the marijuana collective raid have been convicted of any crime in connection with the incident and are presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If you are running a medical marijuana business and learn the police may be targeting your business, one of the most important things you can do is to consult with an experienced medical cannabis attorney as soon as possible, so you learn your rights and prepare to react quickly should this be necessary.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
California cops eat marijuana edibles, play darts, joke about kicking amputee’s ‘f—ing nub’ during Santa Ana pot shop raid: lawyer, June 12, 2015, New York Daily News
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Alaska Police Raid Ex-TV Anchor’s Cannabis Club, April 1, 2015, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog