Six more medical marijuana cases dismissed

January 20, 2012

After more than a year of courtroom hearings, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office told the court it could not move ahead with its cases against six of the dozen arrested in 2010 for selling medical marijuana. [SLONewTimes]

Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera on Tuesday dismissed the cases against Christopher and Amy Austin, David and Valerie Hosking, Steven Gordon and Thomas Sandercock.

The court had previously dropped charges against three of the 12 defendants.

In December 2010, the now defunct San Luis Obispo County Narcotic Task Force said that those running pot delivery services 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.

During the 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.

The prosecution said it could not move forward with the case because of a set of jury instructions that allowed the defendants to contend they thought the undercover officer was part of their medical marijuana collectives. Prosecutors said allowing the collective defense would have made their case hard to win.



  1. Jack L says:

    It is hard to believe that in today’s world of tight budgets local LE would use precious resources for these raids. Are they really that unaware of how other California DA’s are handling collectives? Reading Humboldt Counties DA speak on the subject. You would think SLO County is in the dark ages and way behind the curve.

    (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  2. standup says:

    Well DAs, she was a member of those collectives. She signed a form stating she was joining. Is it really the collective’s fault that she lied to the doctor because her back is fine, used a fake ID (issued to her by our wonderful Rodney John of the closed down task force), and signed a fake name. Everyone one of the collectives called and verified her from the doctor that she actually had a valid rec. The DA’s interpretation that everyone must participate is a farce. Case law does not support that. People can contribute money. If they aren’t supposed to then can someone please explain why the state on their website states medical marijuana transactions are subject to sales tax and require a seller’s permit. I think I will trust the state’s position on this one and not some flunky DA who is trying to create his/her own set of rules nor some washed up Task force leader saying, “hang them all!”. The state just re-affirmed their position on the sales tax last February. As to all members helping with the cultivation, I don’t know what the county expects. Joe Blow in a wheelchair won’t be able to do much. “Oops, sorry Joe. My apartment is upstairs so you can’t join.” That would sure go over well with the state. Discriminating against a disabled person just because you live upstairs? Mary Smith works all day at her job so she can’t help. Plus she doesn’t want to get dirt in her nails. Abe Lincoln just joined but crop was just harvested so he will have to wait until next year to get any medicine at all (assuming it was an outdoor crop). “Sorry about the Glaucoma Abe. Just wait a year and get your butt out here and till, till the soil and then we can help you.” Rodney John liked that term, “Till the soil”. How much actual tilling can take place? Which brings to point that most of these crops were grown inside with expensive lights and hydroponic setups. Who pays for all that and the electricity? Does anyone really think that some new member really knows anything about growing hydroponically? These grow rooms are also pretty crowded with plants so how are all the members going to fit inside these roods? What are they going to do once they get in there? Get all touchy ,feely with lots of “oohs and ahhhhs” and bring in bugs from the outside. Which might I add is a huge problem for anyone who has tried this. Since the crop needs just a little attention most each and every day, I guess each member better be there at 4:00 to add his share of the 1/4 teaspoon of micro nutrients for that day. And then, “Shut up neighbor about the 20 cars parked out front. We are trying to operate a collective to the liking of our local drug task force”. Who in their right mind would let a new member come to where the crop is located just to have that new member return and rip it off? Or better yet, return with friends and a gun. These collectives didn’t know these people enough to trust them in their homes. Let alone a lying pig. The DA should go ask any pharmacy if they would let any of their customers into their own homes. Yeah, that’s what I thought. They don’t want just anyone off of the street in their homes either. I don’t blame them nor do I blame the collectives either. I bet if every one of the collectives took a picture with each member holding a shovel, that would be O.K.. for the DAs or that neanderthal, Rodney John. What a joke this has been. And please, can someone tell me what this has cost the county so far? Public records request is in order.

    (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
    • standup says:

      Whoops, “fit inside these ‘rooms’ it should have said.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • Cindy says:

      StandUp, I didn’t see any mention of the Tamagi’s [sic]. Was their case dropped early on in this game of “what the AG say’s doesn’t mean shit” ?

      What I find irritating is that the DA is now going to waste more money trying to appeal the local courts decision! I truly am curious what it is about the law that the DA doesn’t understand? They (DA + NTF) can’t present it their way, they have to present it the way it is. In the end these victims will have one hell of a civil suit against the people for all the time and money that this has cost them, not to mention the initial home invasion perpetrated by these gun tooting licensed gang bangers in the Darth Veda uniforms or the hard ships after stealing their hard earned savings accounts and holding onto the money for years. That is absolutely unjustified to keep funds when people can prove that they earned and saved those funds legally.

      Did you read that Ian Parkinson is trying to save Rodney John and crew by creating a larger gang task force? I guess if they are going to interact with the public the gang task force is the best place for them. At least they will be arresting real criminals and doing the job we pay them for.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • Cindy says:

        That would be “hardships” not “hard ships”
        bet you scratched your head for a second there ;) I did too!

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
      • standup says:

        Cindy, the Tamagni’s case was never charged. The day before the DA was to file formal charges, the case was rejected back to John and co. for further investigation as there was insufficient evidence to proceed. Supposedly, some of their patients were called and harassed by agent Cory Pierce trying to figure out something that wasn’t there. Coincidentally, Pierce was the same agent that had to hand over all their property once the judge told NTF to give it back which was in July. They should have never been arrested in the first place if the NTF did a proper investigation, however, that will be decided in civil court down the road possibly. I don’t trust Ian when he said he had no idea about the raids. If I was rich I would pay for a polygraph on that one. Cops lie and they are generally very good at it. They are paid con artists and will do anything to get you to say something that you didn’t mean to. However, when it comes to investigations that include rape, murder, meth, etc. I fully support them. I just think it was a huge waste of resources here. Let’s just say the county has spent a million dollars on these cases already and are batting zero so far and the state used to donate 300k+ to fund the NTF (John’s salary, rent, etc.). We could have funded the NTF for three years on this waste to fight gangs, meth, and heroin. Or better yet, we could have used that money in our schools to help teach kids better. Our priorities are so screwed up anymore. Pretty sad. I bet if you polled this county as to what was more important to spend money on either fighting medical marijuana or gangs, meth, and heroin, the poll would be 99% the later. I just hope the Parkinson spends our tax dollars wisely in the future.

        (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  3. hotdog says:

    The DA and most of the fascists who ordered this idiotic attack on innocent citizens should be forced to pay for it, economically and criminally by busting up rocks for a few years on a Louisiana chain gang. Crooks, damn crooks. I hope you’re reading this, DA and the other crooks.

    (26) 30 Total Votes - 28 up - 2 down
  4. bobfromsanluis says:

    The apparent contempt that most law enforcement agencies in California display in their zeal to “go after” MMJ operations is like they are spitting in the face of the voters intentions in our state. It does bother me that the initiative was so clumsily written so that way too many erroneous interpretations of what the intentions of the law actually is. With Canada leading the way and a few states like California putting legalization of marijuana on the ballot, the whole “war on drugs” approach should finally be stopped. Look at all of the money our society wastes on the prosecution of marijuana consumption alone; it is time to finally look at this issue with a twenty-first century awareness. Marijuana is not some “evil weed” that Hearst and DuPont made it out to be, it is called “weed” for good reason, it can grow almost anywhere with very little effort. The single biggest obstacle to overcome however is the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a “class one” scheduled substance; with that restrictive classification in place, real scientific research cannot be allowed. The real winners in the “war on drugs” of course is law enforcement, look at all the toys they get to buy, look at all the prisons the states get to run, and let’s not forget the single biggest benefactor, big Pharma. By keeping the natural substances that man has used for centuries illegal, big Pharma gets to continue to make billions on their synthetic pain killers, even though they are absolutely addictive and completely illegal to possess without the required prescription. Enough is enough; if you see someone with a sign up for a ballot initiative for the legalization of marijuana here in California, please sign it and help get this issue on the ballot again. If Canada passes their law, if California and Colorado and other states pass similar laws, the federal government will have no alternative to reclassifying marijuana as something other than the current class one schedule it now has. Once that is accomplished the individual states can exercise their rights at regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana and take away the power and money that now goes to gangs and drug cartels.

    (23) 31 Total Votes - 27 up - 4 down
  5. godislanguage says:

    Imagine the arrogance of the DA “Prosecutors said allowing the collective defense would have made their case hard to win”….so the “undercover cop” gets a recommendation for MM, joins a collective and then the DA has the balls to say the defendants are criminals and shouldn’t be allowed to expect a member of the collective to pay cash for MM…

    How UNREASONABLE to think that everyone who joins a collective has the means, skills, resources and were-with-all to participate directly in the growing, cultivation and other farming activities of the MM cultivation collective.

    It’s time to cut the DA’s budget, they are wasting the courts time with their righteous self-fulfilling prophecy crusade against an “uncontrollable” substance. Resulting in organized crime, gang violence, expanded corrections industry wilst protecting the AMA’s big pharma medicating citizens “legally” based on profits from medicare and insurance reinbursements who keep pushing addictive pain killers, anxiety medications, bi-polar medications, etc.

    District Attorney Shea, etal is on a witch hunt by not recognizing these citizens appear by all practical purposes creating the necessary PAPER TRAIL of using MM. His argument that cash is only used for the “procurement” of MM is a Macavelian strategy to keep MM in the closet. By having a PAPER TRAIL alone, it’s making the use of MM above board, where it needs to be. By keeping it in the closet, it causes negative consequences to the individual by social dissonance.

    It’s time to elect a new DA!!!

    Get it out in the open and talk about the positives while you drink your next glass of Merlot of Gin & Tonic.

    (29) 33 Total Votes - 31 up - 2 down
  6. SewerHeightsRez says:

    “Prosecutors said allowing the collective defense would have made their case hard to win”, i.e., allowing the defendants the “right” to tell the truth in court renders the prosecutions “case” unwinnable.

    No matter, the point was never justice but rather press, over time, full leo employment, and havin’ a rip roarin good ol time. The fact “civilians” lives were trashed is just a side benefit.

    (30) 30 Total Votes - 30 up - 0 down

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