Aggressive marijuana busts prompt protests

January 2, 2011

Racheal Tamagni at home with her dogs before the raid

By KAREN VELIE

Medical marijuana advocates plan to protest against what they claim were aggressive and uncalled for raids on local cannabis delivery services at a rally planned for Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 a.m., in front of the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse.

During the December 27 arrests, one man suffered a heart attack, guns were held to the heads of children as they were dragged from their beds, family pets were kicked, grandparents were handcuffed and forced to lie on the floor and children were removed from their parents’ custody, multiple sources said.

“They busted my door down and cuffed me with a gun to my head,” Steven Gordon said. “I showed them my paperwork and my documentation and asked what I did wrong. They said I sold to a police officer.”

After a two month investigation, the San Luis Obispo County Narcotic Task Force said that the delivery services they investigated were violating California’s Marijuana Compassionate Use Act and Medical Marijuana Program by transporting and selling marijuana “illegally” throughout San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties.  At least six agencies and 50 agents participated in the investigation and arrests of 15 people.

The raids appear to be based on an interpretation of state law – specifically that everyone in a collective must be actively participating in the cultivation of the plants.

“It’s wasteful to spend taxpayer dollars to aggressively raid state law-compliant collectives,” said Kris Hermes, media spokesperson with Americans for Safe Access. “But, it’s a greater tragedy that local officials would resort to taking people’s children away because they don’t agree with the state’s medical marijuana law.”

Charles Tamagni

Rachel Tamagni, 57, of Paso Robles began using medical marijuana to replace medications that caused her severe depression. She started the delivery service after having an attorney help comply to legal requirements.

“I wanted to help others,” Racheal Tamagni said. “We are in the red on this. We only deliver to five people.”

The Tamagnis’ 8-year-old part Chihuahua died shortly after the raid on their home. They believe the three hour search overly excited the fragile dog.

“She was a rescue dog with a heart condition,” Charles Tamagni said.  “We were careful to not excite her, but there was so much tension here that morning.”

The Tamangis were the last two people placed in a van that deputies drove throughout the county picking up those they arrested.

Some arrestees were left in the task force van for more than three hours while officers made arrests, sources said. Those inside, were not allowed to use the restroom and Peter Miller ended up urinating in the van.

Peter Miller

“When he urinated, they were just laughing, they didn’t care,” Steven Gordon said.

Gordon, a Pismo Beach single father of a 10-year-old, said he keeps his medical marijuana in a safe in his garage.

“They took my daughter and drug tested her,” Gordon said. “My daughter is a straight A student at Shell Beach Elementary. They served people with legitimate paperwork.”

Gordon regularly provides medical marijuana to his patients for free. He said he even gave the undercover officer free medicine during his second delivery to her.

An agent using the name Amy Dobson made an appointment with San Luis Obispo based Dr. Atsuko Rees to obtain a medical marijuana card. Some of Rees’ former colleagues accuse her of abusing laws meant to help patients with chronic problems.

About a year ago, some of her former colleagues asked the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s office to investigate Rees.

Steven Gordon

Rees provided Dobson a list of medical marijuana delivery services during her visit. Dobson provided each of the services a copy of Rees’ medical marijuana recommendation and photo identification.

Following the arrests, a press release from the task force said that agents seized approximately four grams of cocaine, 57 pounds of marijuana, 162 marijuana plants, 146 grams of hash, 718 grams of hash oil, seven firearms and $492,931 in cash.

“Agents arrested 15 individuals who were charged on several counts of Health and Safety Code Section 11351, Possession of Cocaine for Sales, Health and Safety Code Section 11358, Cultivation of Marijuana, Health and Safety Code Section 11359, Possession of Marijuana for Sales, Health and Safety Code Section 11360, Sales of Marijuana and California Penal Code Section 273a(a), Child Endangerment,” the press release says.

The task force failed to mention that the seven firearms seized were discovered in a locked gun safe at the Paso Robles home of Peter Miller, an avid hunter. In addition, the cocaine was seized from only one residence.

The first set of arraignments is scheduled for January 11, at 8 a.m. at the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse.


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willie

I see these officers true colors

I see the clever penmanship of the LE press release

I see them laughing at the frightened old man needing the restroom

I see them thrilled pointing a gun on the head of someone (child, cuffed-grandparent) their passion fullfilled.

Are you a parent? Can you imagine some LE doing that to your child or parent.

What does a parent feel to helplessly see their child subjected like that to a gun on thier head, then drug tested.

I see them laughing at us as well.


(Don’t be fooled, the seven “legal” firearms seized were discovered in a locked gun safe at the Paso Robles home of Peter Miller, an avid hunter. In addition, the “unlawful cocaine” was seized from only one and only one single” residence.


darwin_is_rolling_over

As a parent, I would not subject my children to living in a home where I kept the pot I sell, legal or not. Children should not live where drugs are made or sold … especially prescription drugs like pot.


You can blame the LEO’s all you want but aren’t the parents the ones who decided to put their kids in harms way.


zaphod

pot is not a prescription drug in California, there is a federal prescription program limited to a guy with glacoma who sued the Fed. it is recommended not prescribed in California otherwise CVS would be all over it.


darwin_is_rolling_over

Ok, I see your point. Not a prescription drug. Then I think that it is irresponsible as a parent to have a recommended or otherwise illegal drug in the house with children. This isn’t funny or something to joke about. These people have their kids in a house where they keep a drug (while trying to do so legally) that for the majority of the public is illegal, and because it is illegal, people break more laws trying to get their hands on it. If you are going to be in this business, shelter your kids from the business and the possible consequences associated with the business.


If you dont think people are hurt (and even killed) over over the pot business daily, you are naive and mistaken. As long as it is illegal for the masses, it will be dangerous. As long as it is dangerous you should keep your kids away from it.


Citizen

Let’s see if Peter Miller, even if cleared of all charges, gets his guns back without having to hire an attorney. This county likes to confiscate weapons and keep them. That’s how Lisa Solomon got her throw away gun (from her former husband who worked for the DA’s office), and remember the video by Dan Blackburn and the deputies’ gun envy.


als_like_guy

There is a better way to dispense pot that is safer, cheaper, and very accessiible


for the patient without a drs letter or card or changing any state law:


http://www.realthccaps.com


zaphod

This fellow has an excellent Idea. he is not selling a product he is promoting a sensible Idea


MarkJames

I encourage everyone who can show up at the court house on the 11th to do so. Unfortunately, most people work on weekdays but if people can show up on the way to work, it would be a good thing to do so, even if they are only there for 15 minutes. We need everyone, don’t think that you aren’t needed because everyone else will be there. That is was everyone else is thinking. Everyone needs to do their part and be counted if we are going to put a stop to this bullying and bring our LEO into line. Remember, they have forgot who they answer to and who they work for, we have to remind them, it is our duty, everyone of us.


PaulJones

The cops didn’t find $492K in cash as in “cash $ bills”. They collected that money from peoples savings “bank accounts”. Those lying a**holes.


Dude

GEE, imagine that , COP’S Lying…

The lies start at the top, which is our federal government, and they have too much to lose to be honest and stop this abuse. As they say Folk’s” you get the government you deserve” or better yet ” you get what you will put up with”.


willie

It is needless physical and psychological endangerment of the child.


The parents can’t be too bad if the child is a straight A student!


This will scar the child


JordanJ

It would be appreciated if someone would clarify exactly who is responsible for this raid and the behavior of these so called LEO. Who was at the head of this raid, what agencies participated and what are everyone of the Leo’s names and rank? If we as citizens are going to put a stop this abuse of our civil rights and hold these hot heads accountable, we have to know the above information.

Some of these LEO should be charged for crimes against the people that pay them to serve. Only then, will true justice be served in my opinion.


calvertworthington

It’s al about justifying and keeping ‘task force’ monies, as well as ‘sending a message’ about how omnipotent law enforcement can be, if needed.


Better to send the ask force to help-out in Mexico. OK, that’s a bit too risky.


BeenThereDoneThat

I see our local best in a vest are at it again!! Comon local cops. Guns to kids heads?? Are you f#**ing kidding me? If this is true, I want to see the cops that did that removed from service. When we the public say to protect and serve us, I don’t think one of us (the public) had this in mind. I am TIRED of a lot of the stories about some of these local cops. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH to all the local L.E.O. involved in this kind of crap!!


Cindy

I’m too furious to say anything about this at the moment but something that comes to mind is that I sleep with a loaded and unlocked 38 under my pillow. If a cop ever entered my bedroom while I was asleep and startled me, I can assure you that somebody would wind up dead, those idiots.


Those people didn’t think they were doing anything illegal and had no reason to believe the cops would do something like this. We need a citizens review board, we need to break up this gang of LE “thugs”. Somebody is going to wind up shot and when it happens, I hope its one of them and not an innocent citizen.


Waterman

Good thing Parkinson is behind the controls now,surely he’ll make it all better and we can be proud again of our local law enforcement.


R.Hodin

hahahahahahahah


bobfromsanluis

Hopefully you have left this comment in full “snark” mode Waterman; if not, what are you smoking?


WiseGuy

Whatever he might be “smoking”, is NONE of your business and shouldn ‘t be anyone else’s. Get a clue.


BeenThereDoneThat

Question to the people leaving neg. that don’t have the courage to post. You would have no problem with local law enforce putting a gun to your own kids head? Or it’s o.k. when it is other peoples kids??


willie

BeenThereDoneThat

Don’t wander, they are just some of our thumb down fans, I have a good idea who they are, I even thumbs UP them because they are hilarious (Only for that reason only and I tell them so – later removed by the Moderator) One thing I can tell you FOR SURE if they thumbs down you, FOR SURE YOUR DOING SOMETHING RIGHT!!!


Cindy

You’re so right on and yet I noticed that you had a few extra thumbs in the wrong direction (% wise) as compared to other post that were similar to yours.

I think, when talking about “your post”, it had to do with the language that an administrator seems to have (since) replaced some letters with some stars! ;)


Cindy

BTDT, I guess the problem with your post wasn’t do to the F word after all. Looks like the “wimpy”, “egotistical” criminal cops with the “God complex” (they know who they are) have found their way to the site. We will weed them out sooner than later.


BeenThereDoneThat

Yea Cindy I figure it is some of the thin skin brothers in blue, upset that I even mention anything neg. about cops. Of course if they would READ the post, I mention and believe that it is only a small group but I would think that they themselves would want these guys out, as it gives them a black eye with the rest of the bad bunch.


BeenThereDoneThat

Well I am glad sister George didn’t remove post. I did get a little over the line there in my haste of being pissed off and it was nice of him to go back and do some fine tuning for me. Thanks George.


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