Dispensary Files Lawsuit Against Police for Raiding Legal Operation
The Costa Mesa Collective has filed a lawsuit against against the Costa Mesa Police Department claiming that they exceeded their legal authority in a raid that destroyed their business.
On January 27th police burst into the Costa Mesa Collective with guns-a-blazin’ loudly proclaiming that they had a search warrant. The warrant was for an unspecified code enforcement inspection. In other words, it was the most generic type of warrant available to predatory law enforcement units looking to shut down legal cannabis operations by tying them up in the justice system with bogus charges.
Matthew Pappas, who represents the dispensary, filed a lawsuit with the Orange County Superior Court. They seek unspecified damages as well as the return of marijuana, money, confidential patient records and other property.
“The city of Costa Mesa … believes it is above the law,” said Pappas. “No longer can cities and police departments violate people’s rights based on marijuana once being part of failed drug prohibition policies.”
When police entered the dispensary they ordered half a dozen people to the floor, certainly a terrifying experience for anyone. Five people were then taken to jail, where they were kept for four days, after which they were released without any charges filed against them.
The lawsuit is predicated on the fact that the warrant was insufficient for the actions of law enforcement. Inspection codes are for building issues such as electrical, plumbing and fire safety. They are not for seizing property, and certainly not for seizing the property of a legally operated business supported by the will of their community and states residents.
Meanwhile the businesses owners, investors and employees are out of luck – with no way to get the operations running without the property returned. That means a blow to jobs and the local economy.
And it also means a blow to their patient customers who find specific relief from the products they provided.
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