D.A. Threatens To Jail City Council For Allowing Pot Dispensaries


Photo: Hardwick Fundlebuggy

​District Attorney Mike Ramsey doesn’t want any marijuana dispensaries in Chico, California. He dislikes them so much, in fact, that he threatened to jail members of the city council if they allow the pot shops in town, reports Toni Scott of the Chico Enterprise Record.

Ramsey, who obviously doesn’t mind running his mouth and throwing his weight around, “warned” the councilors: “I want to make the distinction that you cannot authorize that which is illegal, legal.”
“If that which is illegal is authorized as legal, you can expect to see every one one of those city councilors in jail,” he said.

Butte County District Attorney
D.A. Michael L. Ramsey: You allow pot dispensaries in my town, and I will jail your ass.

​Ramsey’s buffoonish threats came as a result of Tuesday’s direction from the council to City Attorney Lori Barker to begin drafting an ordinance to designate where marijuana dispensaries could be located in the city limits, and what guidelines the businesses would be required to follow.
Although he admitted non-profit collectives and cooperatives are specifically allowed by California law, Ramsey (perhaps following the lead of media-hogging blowhards like L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley) said selling or “distributing” marijuana is prohibited.
“It is my opinion as the county’s top law enforcement official that storefront dispensaries are illegal,” Ramsey said.
Although the city council would not be directly engaging in criminal action by allowing dispensaries, Ramsey claimed designating storefront dispensaries as legal entities is still “crossing the line of the law.”
City Councilor Andy Holcombe said he believed the council is acting lawfully.
“As a city councilor and attorney, I cannot think of any factual pattern or legal principle that would make the council criminally liable for passing a land-use ordinance,” Holcombe said.
Holcombe said the action is a land-use decision. He said the council is not deciding if dispensaries are legal or illegal; it is simply designating where they may operate.