Pot Dispensary Owner Defies Judge, Posts Bail


Graphic: Doc Herbalist

​The owner of a Fresno medical marijuana dispensary posted $5,000 bail and got out of jail Wednesday after he promised to show back up in Fresno County Superior Court for his arraignment on charges of violating a court order to stop selling pot.

Rick Morse, owner of the Medmar dispensary, was held in jail without bail following his Tuesday arrest on misdemeanor charges of selling marijuana after two judges ordered him not to do it, reports Pablo Lopez at The Fresno Bee.
Judge Donald Franson Jr. on Wednesday granted Morse’s request for bail so he could hire a lawyer for his February 18 arraignment.
Morse, 48, was defiant when he appeared in shackles at his first court appearance. He laughed when Judge Franson read him his rights and outlined the criminal charges against him.

Photo: The Fresno Bee
Medmar medical marijuana dispensary owner Rick Morse

​Morse interrupted the judge several times, saying the proceedings were unconstitutional because the city zoning ordinance prohibiting him from selling marijuana to medical patients was unconstitutional.
Judge Franson said the issue wasn’t the constitutionality of the city ordinance, but rather why Morse hadn’t appeared at a previous court hearing, which resulted in a warrant for his arrest.
Deputy City Attorney Michael Flores asked Franson to keep Morse in jail without bail. Flores pointed out that Morse had skipped several court appearances, and has publicly stated the judge “has no legal authority” over him.
But Judge Franson kept the bail at $5,000 after Morse promised to return for his arraignment.
The judge told Morse the penalty if he missed his February 18 arraignment would be five days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
“Hopefully, I got your attention,” the judge said.
Rick Morse’s son, Brandon, said Medmar will reopen.