Cash Strapped City of Long Beach Pursues Costly Raids of Medical Cannabis Collectives Resulting in Major Lawsuits, Says THC Downtown Collective
LONG BEACH, Calif., July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2011, the City of Long Beach had an estimated deficit of fourteen million dollars. At an Aug. 2, 2011 news conference titled "fiscal year 2012 proposed budget," Mayor Bob Foster is quoted as saying, "We have an extraordinary hole to climb out of and as all of you know, the first rule of holes is when you are in one you stop digging, we need to stop digging."
On June 19th, 2012, Long Beach, CA - the local government utilized roughly fourteen of its police officers, numerous patrol cars, the fire department, a hospital ambulance, a city official of the Department of Finance (Erik Sund) and an attorney from the City Attorney's office (Kendra Carney), were all intermittently onsite for an estimated time of 4-5 man hours. The purpose was a raid of a medical cannabis collective named THC Downtown Collective, that had not payed the $14,742 dollar fee to enter a now debunked lottery held by the City of Long Beach. The lottery and its ordinance were determined to be illegal by a Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Quoting the judges ruling on the ordinance which states "the evidence seems to show that the city through its police have used what I refer to as strong arm tactics to knock down doors of the collectives without a warrant and without exigent circumstances."
While the Court of Appeals has made this determination, the City of Long Beach is still spending tremendous amounts of man-hours and city funds to raid medical cannabis facilities. The amount of taxpayer money spent on these raids is unknown, as is the amount spent in total to pursue and jail several collectives and members for misdemeanor citations, (which are the equivalent to code violations) around the city over the last few years. While it is known that the amount of money amassed in the city's illegal lottery, which was to be a non-refundable fee, totaled nearly one million dollars and had caused an enormous amount of funding for the City. The lottery (City of Long Beach) was supposed to refund all monies to the collectives after the federal ruling was imposed. To date, none of the collectives have received any refund from the city, but have been instead repeatedly persecuted.
Currently there are dozens of medical cannabis lawsuits pending with more being filed weekly due to Long Beach city officials inability to come to a common agreement with it's pro-medical cannabis citizens and the California State Law. Estimates of liable damages for these collectives are in the hundreds of millions. It was reported in LBReport.com on Aug. 4, 2011, millions of dollars of Long Beach City Hall's current $33 - $40 million three-year projected deficit is attributable to actions advocated by Mayor Bob Foster in his first term.
Also of note, stemming from the THC Downtown raid of June 19th there is a new lawsuit being filed by one Dorian Brooks who is alleging that the officers on that raid had used excessive force and debasing racial comments while detaining him on misdemeanor charges prior to being jailed. These actions were captured on video and now the Long Beach Police Chief along with other city officials are purportedly reviewing the contents. http://youtu.be/AG942y1Cq64
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SOURCE THC Downtown CollectiveBack to top