Marijuana dispensary arrestees’ attorney speaks out

January 4, 2011

David Fisher


Please be advised this office has been retained to represent Christopher and Amy Austin, Rachel and Charles Tamagni, Peter Miller, and Steven Gordon regarding their recent arrests during the raids of several medical marijuana services.

While our office has yet to receive any investigation materials from either law enforcement or the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, we can tell you that, based upon the information provided to us by our clients, it appears as though they were conducting themselves in complete compliance with California law.

The residents of SLO County should know that our clients’ dispensaries were non-profit organizations. Some of them were even losing money, but they continued to provide medical marijuana because they are truly committed to helping the ill find some relief.

The residents of SLO County should also know that the SLO County Narcotic Task Force press release is grossly misleading. From the Task Force’s press release, one would think that the people arrested all worked together or were in some sort of conspiracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our clients did not know each other or any of the other arrested individuals prior to being thrown into the same law enforcement van together.

Another misleading item in the press release relates to the cocaine that was seized. This cocaine was not seized in this county. Our understanding is that this cocaine was seized in an arrest in Tarzana and that our clients have nothing to do with any cocaine.

From what we are told,the conduct of some law enforcement during the raids on our clients’ homes was extremely abusive. We are told that guns were pointed at children and grandparents. We are told that some of our clients were left in a law enforcement van for hours without any heat and that one of our clients was left in the van so long that he urinated on himself. We are told that law enforcement laughed as they watched this happen.

Our clients are upstanding members of the community.They are people who donate their time and money to charity.They are the kind of people our community should celebrate, not arrest, abuse, and publicly humiliate.

In 1989, David Fisher was drawn to the beauty of San Luis Obispo County and decided to move his practice and his family to Morro Bay. His criminal defense practice has been located in San Luis Obispo ever since.

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Has anyone seen this latest statement from Rodney John…

“John said he wasn’t aware of any excessive force. But he also said there was no audio or video taken during the searches.

“Actually, by law we’re not required to [record the searches],” John said. “And we always look out for the civil liberties of those in custody.”

I have no doubt that they don’t record these events because of concerns over civil liberties but it has to do with the fact that they don’t want any record of how they violated the civil liberties of the victims. God forbid that a jury should ever see that, Nice spin that Rodney put on that one. Does he really think we are that dense?

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.

No…..I don’t think they believe what they’re saying. I think they carefully measure what they say at all times, especially concerning the press.

Using the current charade as an example:

One person from LA had cocaine. But the press release made it sound like everyone was charged with cocaine possession.

There were legal, registered guns locked in a gunsafe…..but the press release made it sound like drugs, weapons and cash were found in large quantities. Not true at all.

The cops’ press release said they seized 500K in “cash,” which makes it sound like a kitchen table stacked with bundles of hundred dollar bills……but the reality is that this money was from frozen bank accounts, some of which probably had nothing to do with the MMJ business.

I’ll concede that the value of the crop could be do to poor math skills and not paying attention in 6th grade arithmetic…..they may actually believe that the pot they seized was worth the 3.5 million….because they are unable to perform arithmetic.

Had they taken the time to look at current price lists on the Internet, or in New Times, they could have figured out that at 40-60 dollars for 1/8th oz…….a whole ounce is worth 320-480 dollars retail. Let’s round up to 500 per ounce.

16 oz per pound= 8000 per pound.

They claim to have found 57 pounds……so that makes the street value of the pot= 456,000.00

Now, that’s a long way from 3.5 million. Divide that 7 ways and each collective now has just about 8 pounds each. That’s not very much!

Of course, the numbers I’m using are grossly inflated. The pot is probably with 1/3 less than that, if we go by prices readily available on the Internet.

So, the police probably aren’t capable of doing that kind of math…..but they certainly understand the difference between one person having registered guns in a locked safe and everyone having “weapons.”

So, they lie. I don’t trust liars.