All 12 Doobie Dozen now free of criminal charges
November 26, 2014
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office has dropped charges against all members of the so-call “Doobie Dozen” who were swept up by local law enforcement during a 2010 medical marijuana sting. [Tribune]
In Dec. 2010, the SLO County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force arrested 12 members of mobile medical marijuana collectives, six of whom faced prosecution until this week. Prosecutors dropped charges against the remaining six on Tuesday, citing ambiguity in medical marijuana law and claiming they lacked evidence that the defendants had sold pot for profit.
The district attorney’s office previously dropped charges or declined to file charges against the other six suspects who were arrested.
In Jan. 2011, the case was ready to go to a jury, but prosecutors decided that they did not receive favorable jury instructions from a local judge. They then dropped the charges and appealed the jury instructions, which resulted in an appellate court sending the case back to San Luis Obispo.
The appellate court explained that, in order for convictions to occur, the defendants must have sold marijuana for profit.
Amid the multi-year case, five members of the Doobie Dozen filed a civil lawsuit against the California Department of Justice. The suit described the behavior of the arresting agents as “willful, wanton, malicious and oppressive.”
The lawsuit also named former NTF commander Rodney John and San Luis Obispo police officers Jason Dickel and Amy Chastain as defendants. Plaintiffs in the suit include children of the medical marijuana workers, some of whom were placed in protective custody.