A Southern California cannabis dispensary and its members have filed a federal lawsuit accusing Santa Ana police officers of excessive force during a raid last month.
The suit was filed Monday by nonprofit marijuana collective Sky High Holistic. It charges city officials, including Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, with soliciting bribes for preferential treatment--basically, pay up or we'll be sure you can't operate.
Video of the Santa Ana police officers raiding Sky High Holistic was released online and quickly went viral. It appears to show officers threatening violence and using offensive language against an amputee, arresting and harassing collective members, munching edibles, and playing darts.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The lawsuit situates last month’s raid in the context of the city’s passage and implementation of a ballot initiative that imposed strict regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries.
Measure BB was one of two initiatives concerning medical marijuana on the November ballot, and the City Council-backed initiative imposed tougher regulations than the citizen-proposed measure, including limited business hours and a lottery system for dispensaries to get one of 20 permits to operate in the city.
Sky High Holistic did not receive a permit in the lottery.
According to the suit, Pulido and other city officials received lavish dinners, money and limousine rides around the time that Measure BB was presented to the council. An unnamed person also solicited $25,000 payments from existing collectives in exchange for a guarantee to be included in the lottery, according to the complaint.
The suit also claims Pulido has a financial stake in an unnamed medical marijuana collective that won a permit in the lottery.
Mayor Pulido denies the charges.
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