Medical Marijuana Raids

Unedited Video With Audio Clearly Shows Cops Eating Marijuana Edibles During Dispensary Raid

Those ain't protein bars.


O.C. Weekly

Last month Ed Krayewski posted surveillance-camera footage that seemed to show Santa Ana cops munching on cannabis-infused treats while raiding Sky High Holistic, an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary, on May 26. Some defenders of the police department have argued that the widely viewed video, which was recorded by the one camera the cops neglected to disable and was released by the dispensary's lawyer, may have been edited to leave a misleading impression. Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas suggested that the cops may have actually been eating protein bars they brought with them. But four minutes and 41 seconds of unedited video with sound posted this week by Nick Schou at the O.C. Weekly makes it pretty clear what's going on. Some of the more incriminating dialogue transcribed by Schou:

Female officer: What is it? Butter?

Male officer: Take a bite.

Female officer: I know, right?

Officer in yellow shirt: There are some good-looking chocolate bars back there.

Bald officer: Bombs away, homie.

Officer in yellow shirt: Yeah, do it…

Bearded officer, to female officer: Are you eating that?

Female officer: Yeah.

As Alex Sanchez, a police supervisor, enters, followed by five firefighters, he announces, "Fire department, watch your mouths. Watch your mouths. You watch your mouth!" The scene continues:

Bald officer, chewing: These bars are pretty good. I kinda feel light-headed, though.

Officer in yellow shirt, patting his stomach: I haven't eaten anything.

The female officer responds by handing him a bar, which he begins eating. The bearded officer unwraps a bar, takes a bite, and hands the treat to the bald officer.

The female officer tosses a bar to a cop sitting at a desk. A firefighter enters and says to the female officer, "You guys got that munchies now, huh?" She replies, "Mmm-hmm."

As Schou notes, only three officers were suspended pending an investigation of the incident, but at least four can be seen eating chocolate bars in the video.

[Via Smell the Truth; thanks to Marc Sandhaus for the tip.]

Update: Three of the officers in the video—Matthew Sontag, Nicole Lynn Quijas, and Jorge Arroyo—have been charged with petty theft for taking snacks from the dispensary's break room. Sontag was also charged with misdemeanor vandalism for damaging five surveillance cameras. The Orange County District Attorney's Office says it found "no evidence that any SAPD personnel consumed any edible marijuana items available at the dispensary."

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  1. Illegally consuming controlled substances where firearms are present? That has to invite enhanced sentencing. And that's not even touching on theft and despoliation.

    1. Add in inebriation while on duty.

      Be a shame of LA lost some of it's finest Prohibition Warriors.

      1. Well, to be fair, internal policies might allow for that. Come to think of it, as long as they follow procedure, anything extralegal they do is permissible.

    2. And also tampering with "evidence."

  2. The female officer tosses a bar to a cop sitting at a desk. A firefighter enters and says to the female officer, "You guys got that munchies now, huh?" She replies, "Mmm-hmm."

    Must be some potent stuff for it to work that quickly...

    1. ... or she had "pre-gamed".

    2. That's what caught my eye- they obviously have no idea about marijuana. Any idiot who's ever actually eaten any knows it doesn't kick in for quite a while. I hope they overconsumed and had the worst night of their lives.

  3. "Bombs away, homie."

    Homie da bomb in da slammah.

  4. I'm sure they will be investigated, both by IAD and by the criminal justice system, and will be punished accordingly.

    In an unrelated note, I recently suffered a severe head injury.

    1. My knee is a kind of sore today.

  5. Is there any indication as to how they justified the raid in the first place?

    To me, this reads like a story about a bank robbery--in which everyone is focusing on the bank robbers having also stolen some office supplies.

    By what excuse did the cops raid this dispensary?

    1. It explained it in the original story. California held a random lottery to decide which dispensaries were allowed to gain a licence. This dispensary did not win the lottery, hence was raided.

      1. Talk about arbitrary!

        How is that fucking legal?!

        I could see if they made you bid for one, but our rights are not a spin the bottle contest!

        What happened to equality before the law?

        1. Everyone had an equal chance of being raided by armed thugs?

    2. They didn't have *permission* from the 'Top Men'.

  6. This video is fake, police would NEVER do something like this, EVER.

    1. This video footage is pure imagination composed of fucking imaginary bits. In fact, if one has zero imagination this entire web page would disappear and be replaced with bursting letters of accolades spilling rivers of beaming love suns wrapping like limp and napping kittens around team Cop.

  7. Life imitates Simpsons again:

    This was from one of those episodes many, many years ago, when the Simpsons used to be good. One of the cops busted some hapless disabled person with a bag of weed, but one of his partners thought it might be medicinal marijuana. So they called Chief Wiggum over to see what they should do. Chief Wiggum calls all the other cops over, they put on some Bob Marley and have a big smoke out over the credits.

  8. So they are all going to be fired, right?

    Do cops have to endure random piss tests constantly? I doubt it - they have a union.

  9. It would be interesting to have a prosecutor look at that tape and count up the number of crimes committed. Its got to be in the dozens.

    And you know not one single criminal charge will be filed. Not. One.

    It would also be interesting to know how many violations of PD policy are on that tape.

    And you know not one single cop is going to get fired. Not. One.

    1. I'm still hoping for the day when I see a judge accept the argument that any polity that doesn't either uniformly enforce the law in all known cases where it is violated, or else offer a compelling justification for its refusal to prosecute to a judge in every single case where it does not, is violating the 14th amendment.

      Lack of resources to prosecute should not be a defense either. Lack of resources doesn't allow a government to deny people due process, so neither should it allow a government to deny people equal protection.

      If you could make that precedent, then you could basically get a lot of shit laws overturned -- either you make them apply to the cops, politicians, connected rich folks, etc. as much as everyone else, thus creating pressure to tone them down, or else you enable people to challenge them in court.

  10. Why did they disable the obvious cameras in the first place? As for the nanny-cam, I'd suggest EVERY pot dispensary install them as well. As for their "expectation of privacy" after disabling the other cameras, to hell with THAT!

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