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California Cops and Cannabis Shenanigans, Big Changes Are Coming


Led by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), many people in law enforcement have rightfully cheered the changes in cannabis policies over the last few years, citing the virtual harmlessness of cannabis compared with other substances including alcohol, and an ability for them to focus their time and resources on crimes that directly impact public safety.

However, we also know that relinquishing power – any kind of power – that persons have over other persons will often result in backlash and attempt to hold onto such power until the last dying breath. It would seem there are also many in law enforcement who do not want to yield their position to rope good people into the criminal justice system because quite simply to them “marijuana is bad, mkay.”

It looks like bad luck struck last week for some legit cannabis providers in northern California’s Mendocino County. According to ABC News:

“The workers for Old Kai Distribution were transporting the marijuana from a farm when they were pulled over Friday afternoon by a California Highway Patrol officer on Highway 101 near Ukiah, according to Joe Rogoway, an attorney for the company. They were driving an unmarked van and were stopped for a traffic violation.

“The workers showed the officer the company’s county license and a manifest for the marijuana, but the officer insisted it was illegal, called for backup and arrested the men.”

The new roll-out for adult-use legalization in California has caused a great deal of a headache and confusion, but operations which have previously been permitted under medical regulations and have received approval for temporary licensure by local governmental bodies should be allowed to move forward and act in good faith to prepare for their newly protected rights to produce, manufacture, deliver, and sell cannabis. The justification by law enforcement is clearly bogus, suggesting that there are no legal protections before January 1st, and that their officers are very concerned about “drugged drivers” – so that’s probably why they were pulled over and arrested:

“The officer who made the Ukiah stop was not targeting the business, said Stanley, who is not aware of any other arrests of a locally licensed marijuana operation. CHP primarily is concerned with drivers who could be high behind the wheel and the agency has trained 97 percent of its officers and sergeants in advanced drugged driving recognition skills, he said. Stanley commented after a ceremony for CHP Officer Andrew Camilleri, who was killed on Christmas Eve by a driver believed to be drunk and high.”

I hope the victims from Old Kai Distribution can come out ahead of this, considering their entire harvest was basically stolen by these jerks who clearly care more about their own bruised authority than the intent of the law. At least we will be reading fewer of these stories in 2018, theoretically.

What can California companies do to protect themselves from unjust police interactions? Learn about best practices and much more at the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in San Francisco February 1st and 2nd. With California Cannabis Czar Lori Ajax taking questions, you’ll be getting the answers you need to succeed. Don’t delay in getting your Early Bird Tickets at discounted prices as the event is expected to sell out. 

Joe Rogoway, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, LEAP, Old Kai Distribution