Costa Mesa Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Costa Mesa, California, has filed a lawsuit against the city and its police department pertaining to a raid executed in January.
According to the suit, when Costa Mesa police raided the dispensary they failed to show a search warrant prior to taking a ton of equipment, product and cash out of the business. A city spokesman said the police had a warrant then and they still have it now, but the attorney for the dispensary, Matthew Pappas, said he has yet to see the warrant, all these months later.
Also according to the lawsuit, none of the property has ever been returned and no one has been charged with a crime. The dispensary operators want their property back or they want compensation for it.
Of course Costa Mesa police thought they had disabled all of the security cameras in the business – a suspicious maneuver to be sure – but a hidden video system recorded the raid.
So here we have yet another battle between a dispensary and the police, a scenario that has played out thousands of times over the last several years. A waste of resources and effort on the part of the police and an unnecessary interruption of the local economy, not to mention a major interruption of so many lives.
And for what? Some computers and some cash and plants that are going to die in an evidence locker? Or maybe a big “bust” that will help justify a bigger budget next year?
Of course, getting sued might cause some second thoughts in terms of the new budget. This lawsuit also might help other police departments see the need for a change in the way they operate.
One thing is for sure: the way police and dispensaries interact in many states needs to change.