Charges dropped against two medical marijuana providers

January 11, 2011

A Paso Robles couple arrested for operating a mobile medical marijuana dispensary will not face jail time for operating their service because they are no longer facing charges.

One of Rachel and Charles Tamagni’s attorneys, Patrick Fisher, said that officials from the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office told him they are dropping charges against the couple.

“We have to get confirmation in court, but they told us over the phone that they are rejecting charges,” Fisher said.

On December 27, at least six law enforcement agencies and 50 agents participated in the arrests of 15 people for growing and selling medical marijuana. During the arrests, children and grandparents were handcuffed at gun point, homes were ransacked and some of the arrestees were left in a cold van for hours, numerous sources said.

“They were put through hell for nothing, their names dragged through the mud,” Fisher said. “Now it’s like oops, sorry, never mind.”

Fisher, the attorney for six of the arrestees, said his clients appear to have been running their marijuana dispensaries in complete compliance with California law.

The arrests 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.

“Is it the view of the Narcotics Task Force that the terminally ill should be growing their own pot?” Fisher asked.

Charges remain against 12 of the medical marijuana providers.

Medical marijuana advocates plan to protest the arrests at a rally set for January 11, at 7:30 a.m., in front of the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse.


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WiseGuy

A massive investigation of Narcotics Task Force going back 20 years would likely lead to the imprisonment of many local law enforcement officers, past and present.


Question: Are law enforcement officers who commit felonies while on duty still eligible for their full pensions? If not, then such an investigation will easily pay for itself.


A Citizen’s Review Board would also be another good investment and would likely decrease the amount of money local law enforcement spends on settling lawsuits, while preventing police abuse of citizens, and MAYBE, if we’re lucky, help restore some respect for local law enforcement.


With these sentiments spreading throughout our community, Mr. Parkinson certainly has reason to appear nervous in public. But he should realize its the 21st Century and a new, more evolved approach to law enforcement is being called for. The “Pat Hedges” debacle should make that quite clear. And Parkinson should distance himself every way he can, both socially and philosophically from that former good ol’ boy, throwback ex-Sheriff Ed Williams who Parkinson called upon for an endorsement.


Cindy

GOOD NEWS……….

I was at the protest this morning and there was a great deal of support but the best part is that there is a group with ” legal support” that has organized to start the process of implementing a “Citizens Review Board”. It’s been a long time coming and we sure do need one. More later, gotta run.


P.S. DA was approaching the victim’s attorney and reducing charges but no one appeared to be going for any plea deals.


Typoqueen

I’m glad that you were there Cindy, I couldn’t be there but I was with you in spirit.


I know one of the guys pretty well and he really went out of his way to try and be on the up and up. Thank goodness he also has the resources to fight this. But even if he gets off he has already lost his child and he won’t get her back. I also know one of the couples that were arrested. Don’t know them very good, didn’t know that they were selling pot but I know their kids pretty well. Sad to say that the three people that I know all have kids at home and the kids were greatly traumatized. There was no need for this at all. They could have simply surprised them by walking up and knocking on their door later in the day with search warrants, checked it out and issued citations to appear in court if they thought that the sellers weren’t handling their services correctly. There was no need for their bully behaviour.


Jack L

The important thing is that in the end, all parties are better educated. No need for strong arm tactics. The community will be better off with education, dispensaries following all laws and our counties resources will not be wasted. Hopefully LE will have some kind of workshop discussing all particulars. After all, it’s 2011, not 1968.


hotdog

In the sixties many cops were called ‘pigs’, for good reason. They took great delight in persecuting ‘hippies’ and anti war folks. I see the pigs are back. Get rid of the pigs. Where are our chiefs and new sheriff in all this mess? What a bunch of clowns…


DocT

LOL! (in a bitter, ironic sort of way)


50 costumed thugs, 2 months of “investigation,” SWAT style raids replete with destruction of property, death of a pet, mild heart attack from one victim…….


Lots of bluster and false statements to the press……


AND CHARGES ARE DROPPED?????


This is a case study in bad police work. All that effort and money spent and the people can’t eve be charged, let alone prosecuted. What a shame.


Rodney John is a stupid rookie with a bad attitude and contempt for those who pay his salary!


He needs to be fired…..yesterday.


Also, I hope the county is forced to return all 3.5 million dollars worth of stuff they stole, AND get the bill for rebuilding the houses and restoring the property they destroyed in their temper tantrums.


What a shame that these thugs are still going to get paid and collect on their fat pensions. They should be charged with aggravated assualt, armed robbery, breaking and entering, slander, libel, and making false statements to a police officer……all that on top of conspiracy.


SLO county law enforcement is a total embarrassment.


OnTheOtherHand

Actually, I think that it would be great if the NTF had already destroyed the pot before being told to return it. Think of it. THEY were the ones who placed the $3.5M valuation on the weed. I bet the people they victimized in this case would be happy to get that much cash back instead of the marijuana that was taken.


The other people victimized by this are the taxpayers of this county out of whose pockets all the settlements will be coming — not to mention the OT wages, excessive benefits and outrageous “required” equipment of the NTF & SWAT officers. But we deserve it because, collectively, we have been voting into office the irresponsible jerks that permit this kind of citizen abuse.


Until the community demands it at the polls, these badged bullies will continue to play their macho intimidation games. I just hope enough voters become aware of the “law” enforcement excesses to act before we have a complete police state.


CA Native

Has their stolen property been returned to them? Will they be compensated for damage done to their home in the illegal raids? What about their dog who died as a result of the raid? That is just the beginning of restitution due them.


Jack L

That’s what I was wondering too.


R.Hodin

Generally, they would have to file with the court to get their property returned. Perhaps Karen could confirm this detail?


Thanks for the coverage of this issue, Karen & CCN crew!


willie

No one wants to touch this can of worms, but the harm, damage, and loss has already been done, and no one will pay for it.


Bob

Let’s hope that Parkinson puts a stop to the continuous parade of Keystone Cops out of the sheriff’s department.


DocT

Don’t count on it.

He’s a politician. He can’t/won’t stand on principle. He’ll scold cops in private then make public statements about what a fine department it is, blah, blah, blah.


Most likely, the raids will stop and people will forget.


Typoqueen

He looked pretty uncomfortable with the whole thing tonight on the news. He basicly said that it’s a tough situation as the law is poorly written. He really looked as if he didn’t want to deal with it. Time will tell, lets see if he’s just another good ole boy.


danika

Sorry, but “oops, sorry…nevermind” is totally NOT gonna work here. What happens to all the patient info that was removed from their computers now they dropped all charges??? What about the cost of defense, the community ridicule, the humility of having to be publicly dragged thru the mud? It would seem someone needs a legal smacking.


Heads should roll in this case. Lawsuits should fly. I will fully support this cause. I do not use MJ, never have, but this infriges upon MY rights to do so should I find myself in a position of medical need. Somehow this became an “it’s them or us” issue. It aint gonna be us. THEY have to stop.


LEOs must stop interpreting the law. Clearly, they have no idea what they are talking about…


Cindy

What’s even worse is that these people had their homes broken into and even worse is that they were in their pajamas or in bed sleeping safe (or so they thought). Their private possessions were ransacked and their dog died from fright. I would be out to make an example of these thugs who said, “what the AG say’s doesn’t mean shit”. Talk about trauma and to think that of all the victims, the Tamagni’s received the least of the abuse.


On my way to support the protest……


bobfromsanluis

The head of the Narcotics Task Force needs to fired, then sued, or the other way around; either way is okay with me.