Even though medical marijuana is legal in California, the Southern California city of Santa Ana seems to be engaged in its own war on drugs.
Medical marijuana, even in the most lax of California cities, is highly regulated, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that police raided an unpermitted dispensary. What should be a surprise is what happened next.
On May 26th, Santa Ana police raided a shop named Sky High Holistic. On Friday, video footage of the raid was released and of course, the cops began the raid guns drawn, but more shockingly, they ended it by using the shop as their own personal playground.
According to the video, at least eight cops burst into the shop with guns drawn. They shouted “everybody on the ground” to both employees and customers.
The cops were also caught dismantling the video cameras, but obviously, they did not get them all. One cop was seen clearly examining some of the dispensary’s merchandise and then opening it and eating it. It also showed them playing darts and generally screwing around.
At one point during the video, a female cop was caught saying about a customer with an amputated leg, “I was about to kick her in the f***ing nub.” The customer, who is legally blind, was allegedly forced to sign a paper under threat of jail, without knowing its contents.
Santa Ana has been cracking down on dispensaries as of late. They issued permits to only a limited number of shops, even of the ones that were already in operation, like Sky High Holistic. Now, they are offering no new permits at all. Allegedly, a “high ranking official” within the city has something to do with who is being allowed to operate, even though it’s supposed to be done on a lottery system.
The city is investigating the cops’ behavior during the raid, but don’t bet that much will be done. They are reflexively calling the video “heavily edited” and as OC Weekly has uncovered, cronyism is stronger than the Santa Ana winds.
The judge who signed the warrant is apparently a drinking buddy of at least one of the police officers involved.
Featured image via KDVR video screen capture.