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.


Loading...
Turquoise

Yes Virginia, there is a San Boogerman.

Sit here and I’ll tell you a story you won’t soon forget.


——————————————————————


Once upon a time, two weeks ago in San Luis Obispo…


——————————————————————


T’was just after Christmas and all round the houses,

the creatures were skulking like an outbreak of louses.

The batteries weren’t dead yet in one single gadget

when San Boogerman showed up and flashed his gold badget.


I looked out on my lawn where arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter,

When what to my wondering eyes should appear?

But San Boogerman, a chopper, 50 cops in full gear!


His eyes, how they twinkled! His disguise, so so scary!

His cheeks were like hatchets, his nose was so hairy!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

But the look on his face was as cold as ice snow.


San Booger wore black from his head to his boot,

See, his honor was tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of zip ties he had in his pack…


(Children under 18 without parental permission, avert your eyes now.)


With a shitload of swat gear all over his back.


“Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vicious!

On Comet, On Cupid! On Donner, On Blitzkreig!

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

Now bust them and cram them and laugh when they fall!”


They screamed nasty words and went straight to their work,

Ripping stockings and presents, O Jesus, what jerks!

A wink of the flashlight held tight to my head,

Soon let me know we had much more to dread.


San Booger sprang up, to his team gave a whistle,

And they all flew away on the thorns of a thistle.

I heard him exclaim as they roared out of sight…


“Screw your Christmas, you growers and all your relations!

Your opinions don’t matter, nor your laws, nor your nation!

You scum, you’re our prisoners, you’re in big trouble now!

San Booger says down on your knees, DO IT NOW!”


——————————————————————


Now Virginia, don’t worry. Listen here to your Dad.

It turns out that this story made everyone sad.


No one bought toys,

and no one made noise.

There was nothing to do for the girls and the boys.

They just stared out the window and took to their beds.

And no one let plum fairies dance in their heads.


No one made money. San Boo took it all.

No fun to await after Summer and Fall.

Then the people looked up and the people, they saw —

It was San Booger himself who was breaking the law.


So we changed the story.


San Boogerman was changed into a generous and jolly old man with a long beard and a magic sack full of toys for all the good girls and boys. San Boogerman’s mad minions became elves who liked to whistle while they engaged in productive work that made other people happy and the world a more beautiful place.


Shopkeepers and grocers stocked their shelves and people began to really look forward to the middle of winter, when the light of love and laughter could chase away the darkness. When generosity and friendship filled the room with warmth and made people forget the cold.


We changed the story, and that has made all the difference.


Cindy

According to the interview that Rodney John gave to the Tribune, he say’s that everyone has to work together and then split up what they grow and that no one can exchange any money. He has completely dismissed the fact that the AG say’s a person can be compensated for their travel costs and associated expenses (water, nutrients, electricity, soil, seeds, advertising, business licenses, etc) to grow the mj for a patient.

So according to the “local” NTF, if you can’t tend a garden then you are not in a co-op and can not contribute towards your medicine. I guess people should drive from Paso to SLO for free and give away part of their crop to people who can’t do farm work.


Good ole Rod also say’s that he will not comment about the abuse that occurred because he doesn’t know if it is true!! What about the audio and video tapes? Is he going to pull a Parkinson and say they all malfunctioned?


Is this the kind of bone head’s that our gov is giving gun’s, badges and riot gear to?


DocT

First of all, cops think in this order:


1.)me, myself and I

2.)My department

3.)The law

4.)the enemy.


The most important person is themselves. The least important is the enemy.


The enemy is all the people who aren’t cops.


Rule number one: never, ever talk to the police. Don’t call them, and as much as possible have nothing to do with them. You are their enemy. They only wish to fine you or arrest you. They do not help you or protect you!


Police: We’re minutes away when seconds count.

———————————–

think about how vulnerable the county was with 50 officers raiding peaceful folks and focusing all their attention on that….while letting real crooks get a free pass for 3 days.


But, they get to keep the money they steal….in this case from frozen bank accounts.


And don’t forget, the guns were locked in a safe and were all legally purchased.


Feel safe?


Jack L

America was founded by men who understood that the threat of domestic tyranny is as great as any threat from abroad. If we want to be worthy of their legacy, we must resist the rush toward ever-increasing state control of our society. Otherwise, our own government will become a greater threat to our freedoms than any foreign terrorist.


-Ron Paul


willie

A peace officer’s oath “includes” not to be officious and to protect the Constitutional Laws.


Turquoise

I have crippling pain from rheumatoid arthritis. It’s like having broken bones all over. Knees, ankles, feet, hands, wrists, fingers, toes, and hips all hurt. When it gets into my ribs I can’t breathe deeply. The disease is now distorting my body, twisting my fingers and causing painful nodules to grow on my arm and hands. I can’t sleep through the night any more because the pain wakes me up and keeps me up. Then I’m tired all day.


The last flare was so bad I couldn’t work from before Thanksgiving 2010 until after New Year’s Day. I own a business so have no compensation for time off, but I needed the rest and needed to avoid the pain caused by movement. Sometimes I can get around; more and more often now I can’t. I’m not sure how long I can keep my business going, my people employed.


My insurance company told me to go to the emergency room, which I finally did. There was a meth addict with “an infectious disease” in the same room, separated by a curtain, and a convict with guard in the room next door. My doctor had me on chemo and steroids, which whacked out my immune system and didn’t much help with the pain, so this proximity to the addict was dangerous for me.


Three hours after arrival, the ER doctor said he couldn’t do anything for me except prescribe another type of painkiller. I guess I’ve been through everything they have over the six years I’ve had this awful disease, though I typically avoid drugs of all kinds. One dose of (highly addictive) Oxycontin made me nauseous with vomiting for about 36 hours. It may have cut the pain some but I still couldn’t walk. It gave me vivid dreams but I resolved to live with the immobility and pain rather than feel so sick on top of hurt.


I had been curious for years to see if marijuana would help but didn’t get the evaluation because I thought they had to give my name to ex-Sheriff Hedges and the Narcotics Task Force thugs, whom I have long considered to be corrupt and cruel and dangerous to ordinary citizens. I’m well-known in the community through my business and long-time volunteerism and didn’t want to risk being smeared by their uninformed and overzealous actions. The RA has made me fragile, and I was also afraid they would throw me around and hurt my physically. Am afraid.


Then I found out that the certification is between my doctor and me, as it should be.


I decided to try it and just received my certificate from Dr. Rees. The evaluation was short because I brought the chemo and steroid medication, and the disease is physically obvious. I appreciated the efficiency. I paid with an ATM card and got a receipt, along with the certification (one year) and a wallet card showing my drivers license.


I found a local caregiver who grows organically, with different strains for pain, stress-relief, nausea, etc. I filled out the paperwork to become part of a small collective (not one of those named here). I used to love to garden, but there is no way now that I could grow marijuana or anything else for myself.


I do believe the marijuana cuts the pain. It certainly decreases the stress and depression that most people with rheumatoid arthritis live with. The high-quality, organic, locally-grown medical marijuana that I get from my collective is a viable medicine. I am absolutely certain that the marijuana is helping me cope. There are no unpleasant side effects.


I am grateful to Dr. Rees for having the courage to continue evaluating patients and issuing legal certifications to those in need. Bless her. I am grateful to the growers who take excellent care to provide safe, clean medical marijuana, at obvious risk to themselves.


I am thoroughly disgusted by the actions of the Narcotic Task Force and consider them thugs with badges for pointing guns at children and their grandparents, for tearing apart caregivers’ homes, and for lying about their take in order to make it appear as though they have routed some actual crime.


I call upon the new Sheriff Ian Parkinson, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, and the State of California to reign in these misguided idiots and stop the harassment of growers and collectives, which denies patients the legal choice and opportunity to use medical marijuana to help us deal with our illnesses.


If I can walk on Tuesday, January 11, I will be at the County Courthouse at 7:30am to protest the NTF and their illegal actions.


DocT

Excellent testimony and comments, turquoise!


If thugs like Hedges had their way, you would be locked up in jail for using a plant, that God made, as medicine.


It’s time we all held these costumed thugs in contempt!


Listen up cops: It’s going to become VERY difficult to be in law enforcement when the people hate you and despise you! And that is YOUR OWN DOING! You can’t treat those you claim to protect and serve by destroying their lives in order to fulfill the personal, biased agenda’s of the criminals who run your departments.


And while you think about that, how about stopping the all the lies? You cops didn’t find much cash on these arrests…you froze bank accounts and lied to the Tribune making it sound like you had cash….filthy liars!


Also, some of the people you arrested in LA were merely renting rooms in the same apartment building as the collective owner….they had NOTHING to do with his business. LIARS!


Don’t look to the citizens of San Luis Obispo to help you in your duty…..we don’t like you…..and you don’t deserve our respect. We don’t trust you, because you’ve proven to be liars and thugs.


We already have enough gang activity without having law enforcement act like gang thugs.


Ian Parkinson….clean up this mess.


willie

Turquoise

In 1972 I knew a LEO disabled by arthritis (he knew when the weather will change better than the weatherman will via pain) all the prescription pain drugs were useless. He would be in so much pain in the fingers that he would drop to his knees. He managed well using illegal marijuana.


In 1985 I met and worked with a disabled CHP officer, double dipping. He had crippling and painful arthritis; most of his fingers had deformed inwards. After working with him for a period of time, he confided in me that he has been using marijuana to cope, nothing else works.


Seeing and superficially knowing how they suffered, they and I could care less if it was illegal.


In your situation, this is not the time to worry about what the NTF thinks about you.

You cannot continue living this way in pain and useless prescription drugs with the deformity and disfiguration accompanying it.


Stay warm


Turquoise

Thanks so much, Willie. I’m feeling pretty good today, after several days of no rain and low-pressure weather. I will be at the Safe Access protest later this morning.


willie

The four Noble Truth

A famous Prince/ Buddhist once said that life has four inescapable pain and suffering

Two of them are sickness and aging.

When your afflicted, only you alone own the pain and suffering alone, no one else, and the NTF don’t care until their time comes and it will. They can only hope at that time for relief legally or illegally..

As unagreeable as they may arrogantly be now, their time will come!

Stay warm, a little of activity exercise and take in some good omega 3 oils.


Vagabond

Well now that the punishment for smoking a doobie in Californicate is the same penalty (though cheaper) as a speeding ticket I wonder when some Keystone Goon Squad is going to raid one of those car swap meets where (OH GHOD FORBID) Speed Junkies sell performance enhancing parts to scofflaws that will surly use them to BREAK THE LAW!


What a complete waste of time and money, And to think some Neanderthal badge heavy public trough feeding goon is thinking “Job well done”


Disgusting.


Cindy

Did anyone check out the New Times yesterday? Listen to this:


“According to SLO County NTF Commander Rodney John, every person apprehended in the raids was either an owner or operator of a mobile dispensary, but he wouldn’t give specifics about how they broke the law.” – “They weren’t following any of the guidelines,” John said. “It’s very clear of what they can and cannot do. And they’re not following any of it.”

What?? How about some specifics there John, or maybe you don’t know the law?


When asked about the six children that were removed from their families, he said:


“Marijuana is very dangerous and there have been a number of cases with children overdosing on marijuana,” John said.

Right, children eat marijuana and over dose on it, they love the taste of those dried up green leaves ! I also suppose they break into their parents safes to get it so that they can then over dose on it. Did anyone ever inform John that there has never been a case of marijuana over dose, what an idiot. Maybe they should arrest every resident with a medicine cabinet?


PaulJones

This guy, Rodney John needs to be removed from law enforcement.


Good luck Rodney, when this is over with, the only person who will have serious legal problems, is going to be you and a few of your criminal thugs. You might not have cared what the AG say’s when you pulled this very costly “stunt” but the people will see to it that you care what the AG say’s from now on. If I have my way, you will care about it from behind bars.


willie

“Let the thing (monthly dried cleaned uniform allowance) be pressed!” (by Ian Parkinson, Big Spender) (And people will believe anything said without question, to question can be construed as interfering or obstruction)


Now after they had their fun with this fund raiser, they are trying to throw as much dirt as they can on this to back peddle out !


Typoqueen

I also read RJ’s statement, it was a joke. Keystone cops=Hedges and his cronies. Numerous ODs by kids ingesting pot,,,never happened, not even once, not by ingesting it or by smoking it. Most of the people that post on these things keep up with the news, I’d like to know if anyone has ever heard of such a stupid thing. That statement alone demonstrates what true liars Hedges and co. are. This really scares me about Parkinson. I wish that an outsider would have been voted ink, there’s too many knuckle-heads in SLO.


Nancy

Hopefully, CCN will dig a little deeper. No one has actually come out to take responsibility for this. I find it interesting that they decided to anger over 50% of the voting populous of this state and now they won’t tell anyone what part of the law these people broke. Since when is the law a secret? Since when does law enforcement pull a “swat type raid” on it’s citizens and then leave everyone up in the air about what the law is? Does the NTF know of a secret law and if so, why are they keeping it a secret? Since when do they tell everyone that what the AG says doesn’t mean shit? These guys need to be locked up and taken off the streets. People need to show up for that protest on Tuesday morning. Somebody needs to start a web site dedicated to dealing with how to hold these rogue criminal law enforcement accountable and how to see to it that they are prosecuted. This should never be allowed to happen again.


Jack L

Has anyone thought about that local LE might actually believe what they state in interviews? It happened a lot in the 1960’s. LE is often behind the ‘curve’ as far as the science regarding such things as medical marijuana and the so called ‘overdosing’ and also the sum of $ that the marijuana plants were actually worth. They may actually believe what they are saying.


With this in mind, it makes those who are more up to date on the subject question what else they actually are undereducated in yet try to enforce. Maybe they really think they are saving the world from evil marijuana like the laughable REEFER MADNESS movie? Scary thought.


Typoqueen

Jack, you are spot on. I’m sure we all know people that have that ‘reefer madness’ mentality. They really believe what they are saying. It’s really unfortunate that some of these close minded undereducated people hold so much power. My dad was like that, he thought that the Beatles were ‘commies’.


Cindy

You might be right but LE doesn’t have any business foisting their uneducated opinions on the rest of us, particularly when they are operating in a county where 75% of the citizens are far better educated than they are. They were hired to uphold the law. If they aren’t capable of interpreting it, and too self absorbed or stupid to learn it, then they don’t belong on the streets. They have caused “children, the elderly, the physically weak and family pets to be endangered, both physically and psychologically. Their acts were criminal.


PasoParent

Judging from the picture, the only crime Rachel Tamagni has committed was allowing herself to be photographed in that awful shirt.


whatdouno

Hey, it was in the privacy of my own home in “slouch” mode!!LOL, just goes to show you can never be to careful. Thanks for the laugh.


racheltamagni

LOL, I was at home in “slouch” mode. Thanks for the chuckle;)


PasoParent

Glad you weren’t offended! Believe me, I’ve worn much worse! ;0


bobfromsanluis

So I actually contacted our new state’s Attorney General’s office about this raid and arrests via the state web site. I received a response in the mail today; “While we appreciate the time and effort it has taken to contact our office, we are unable to assist you.” The letter then goes on to say that their office has no authority to provide advice or representation to defendants. (?) The letter then states that I should consult with an attorney, and then goes on to say that DoJ policy is that local governments will be primarily responsible for citizen complaints yada yada yada, and that appropriate local resources (e.g. Sheriff department, district attorney, citizens review commission and/or grand jury) by utilized for resolution of such complaints … then it goes to say that the state office will get involved ONLY after all possible local resources have been exhausted.

I am forwarding the letter to the lawyer for those who are being represented in this case, and hopefully they can bring this forward to the Sheriff’s Department and/or Board of Supervisors, since we all know that we have a District Attorney who will do nothing about this case, our Grand Jury seems totally toothless, and we do NOT have a Citizens Review Commission. Good luck to the plaintiffs.


Paul Anthony

Please only dispose of pharmaceuticals at the dump or return to any pharmacy.


Do not flush drugs down the toilet, they don’t always get processed and end up in fishes, birds, and those who eat them.