In yet another embarrassing loss for law enforcement in California, who have tried for years to ignore the fact that medicinal cannabis is legal in the state — and has been for 14 years now — San Luis Obispo County cut a $20,000 check on Monday to a patient whose medical marijuana was wrongfully destroyed.
The county paid 46-year-old Kimberly Marshall the equivalent of $3,333 per pound, the replacement value for six pounds of a specially grown outdoor strain of pot, reports Karen Velie at Cal Coast News
Sheriff’s Deputy David Walker’s request for prosecution was ultimately rejected by the district attorney’s office, which wasn’t interested in pursuing the case. Deputy Walker noted that Marshall had in her possession a medical marijuana card and a physician’s statement that allowed her to possess up to six pounds of dried marijuana buds.
The district attorney rejected the sheriff’s request for prosecution based on Marshall’s medical defense. Despite being rejected by the D.A., the sheriff’s office a few days later filed a request for an order to destroy the cannabis, with assertions “there had been no claims that it was medical marijuana.”
“To the best of my knowledge, there has not been any request for return of medical marijuana for medical reasons… Each case of medical marijuana was reviewed and determined not to be for medical purposes,” Deputy Jerry McDaniel said in his request
Marshall phoned her home during the original pot raid and informed deputies that she was a legal medical marijuana patient. During the call, Marshall said the deputy told her that the sheriff’s department would return her medication after she provided them with the proper paperwork.
Marshall provided the paperwork, as requested. However, on August 3, Deputy Walker asked the district attorney’s office to prosecute Marshall for possession.
In September, after the sheriff’s department destroyed Marshall’s medical marijuana, Deputy County Counsel Ann Duggan claimed sheriff deputies “were unaware” the pot was for medical use.
“As far as I understand the factual background, the sheriff’s department has no record of your client’s possession of a physician’s statement,” Duggan lied in a letter to Marshall’s attorney.
Marshall’s attorney, Louis Koory, filed a civil claim in response, asking the city to pay to replace Marshall’s marijuana.
“The sheriff and the county were aware the under California law the sheriff was compelled to return the claimant’s property in the absence of pending criminal action,” Koory said in his civil claim, filed on December 23, 2009.
“These are personal attacks by the marijuana lobbyists because we have been the point of the spear,” whined Rob Bryn
, spokesman for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, prior to the lawsuit being filed. “If this defendant didn’t get their dope back, there is another reason.”
So, Rob, now that this “defendant” IS getting her “dope” back, maybe there’s a reason for that, too, eh, genius?
Marshall had been informed she had less than a year to live after doctors informed her of a liver cancer diagnosis. Though currently in remission, Marshall suffers daily nausea as a side effect of the cancer treatment. Her weight has dropped as low as 98 pounds.
In addition, Marshall has two herniated discs, a fractured disc and a broken disc as a result of a car accident. She is in constant pain and is bedridden for days at a time after enduring two back surgeries.
Doctors recommended medical marijuana to Marshall to ease her pain and nausea.