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Santa Ana Police Retaliate Against the Medical Cannabis Dispensary
that Caught Officers Disparaging a Disabled Patient
July 10, 2015 Los Angeles, CA On Wednesday, bypassing at least eighteen
medical marijuana dispensaries that have continued to operate in the city, Santa
Ana police again targeted Sky High Holistic following the release of video from
the May 26 raid showing police eating what appeared to be marijuana edibles.
Addressing inquiries about the Wednesday raid of Sky High, Corporal Anthony
Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department alleged operation of the dispensary
violates a city ordinance and that an undercover officer purchased marijuana from
the dispensary. Responding to Bertagnas statement, Matthew Pappas, the
attorney representing the dispensary, said, What Corporal Bertagna left out is that
the officer who allegedly bought medical cannabis from the collective was a
patient who had a valid physician recommendation for marijuana. Pappas also
said there were at least 18 other dispensaries without permits under the citys
controversial lottery that continue to operate and that were not raided. Saying
theyre just doing their job despite having his uniform on to seem officious does
not make Corporal Bertagnas comments more believable -- they targeted Sky
High rather than those other dispensaries to retaliate theyve never raided the
same dispensary twice in a row. Pappas continued, We have a very shaky
lottery-based ordinance put in-place amidst allegations of wrongdoing by people
involved in city government. That very controversial law is the basis for Corporal
Bertagnas justification for these violent smash-and-grab police raids. For him to
say with a straight face that Sky High is violating some valid Santa Ana law is
disingenuous. In 1996, California voters were the first in the country to
decriminalize marijuana use and possession for seriously ill and disabled patients.
Medical marijuana laws were not enacted solely for rock stars, celebrities or
Santa Ana politicians wishing to line their pockets with campaign donations and
huge profits the laws are for patients who often suffer from illnesses and
disabilities and who have very limited financial resources, Pappas said. Last
month, Pappass law office filed suit against Santa Ana for civil rights violations
related to the May 26 raid. He said he is amending that same lawsuit this week to
include damage claims for retaliation he alleges took place on Wednesday.
For more information contact Sergio Sandoval, 562-533-1628, E-mail: