Cops in Santa Ana, California, donned ski masks to break and enter into a local medical marijuana dispensary, raiding it with guns drawn in a May 27 police action. They then proceeded to remove surveillance cameras and recording equipment, but they didn't remove it all. Video from a camera they didn't disable also caught the officers eating what appear to be marijuana edibles, then acting in a way to suggest they had become intoxicated, with one officer even joking that she'd love to kick a marijuana activist present at the raid, Marla James, an amputee, in the "nub."
Watch one of the videos, via Orange County Weekly, below:
As OC Weekly reports, the dispensary that was raided, the Sky High Collective, was one of several in Santa Ana that was not selected in a lottery process in February that permitted a limited number of dispensaries to operate. Via the OC Weekly blog:
James and her husband David told the Weekly that they were present at Sky High because their attorney Matt Pappas, had learned the collective would be raided from Santa Ana's city attorney, Sonia Carvalho."
"When they came back into the back room when David and I were, they asked us why we were there, and I told them we were there to observe them, the police," James recalled. "And they were really surprised about that." When James told the officers that "Sonia" had told her attorney about the raid, the officers didn't recognize the name. "They had no idea and it made them seem kind of stupid and maybe that's why they got mad."
James struggled to understand why the female officer in the video would make fun of her disability.
"You know what, I was really nice to that woman," James said. "I even complimented her on her hair. I treated that woman with respect and I have no idea why she wanted to kick my stump."
The police department insists the video that was made public was edited and not in chronological order, and have started an internal investigation, saying they hope unedited video will give them a "clearer picture" of what happened.
As other states move to legalize marijuana more forcefully and clearly than California has over the last twenty years, the problem of licensing shouldn't be ignored. Where the government legalizes marijuana by creating a legalized monopoly or cartel, they are keeping significant numbers of non-violent people out of the legal framework and in the crosshairs of authorities.