On May 26th, Police in Santa Ana, California raided the Sky High Holistic dispensary.
They destroyed all but one hidden camera. Footage from the surveillance video illustrates the excessive force and dodgy tactics that were used.
As the story unfolds, both the Santa Ana Police department and the mayor of Santa Ana allegedly accepted bribes from other dispensaries that competed with Sky High Holistics. Attorney Matthew Pappas filed a lawsuit against the Santa Ana Police force and Mayor Pulido on behalf of Sky High Holistic.
Among those interrogated was Marla James, a disabled volunteer. One of the officers mocked one of her customers, an amputee. After seeing the footage , James told ABC7 news “How can I respect someone like that? It just makes your stomach turn — maybe she doesn’t know what it’s like to have an amputation. I don’t know what was going through her head, but man that was so disrespectful.” Also in the footage you can see another officer eating a medical marijuana brownie. Clearly, it appears that particular officer didn’t object morally to marijuana.
Many cities in Southern California have incorporated lottery-type ordinances to reduce the number of dispensaries. There are only 20 dispensaries that are permitted to operate in Santa Ana. Sky High Holistic was not one of the lucky ones. Matthew Pappas’ lawsuit alleges that Santa Ana mayor Miguel Pulido was paid by at least one dispensary that was issued a permit, giving it immunity from the Santa Ana Police. Also the lawsuit outlines how other city officials abused their power to shut off power and water services to dispensaries that couldn’t afford to bribe them.
The total damage is well over $100,000.