Screenshot of video showing Santa Ana, Calif., police raiding unpermitted medical marijuana dispensary Sky High Holistic in May 2015. (YouTube)

As cops raided pot shop, they allegedly ate edibles, threatened disabled staff

Something is rotten in the (altered) state of California.

A few weeks after the Santa Ana Police Department’s May 26 raid on Sky High Holistic, an unpermitted marijuana dispensary in the southern California city, two newly released videos show the officers behaving in an unprofessional manner.

From the OC Weekly’s report:

The Weekly has received footage from a recent marijuana dispensary raid that appears to show Santa Ana police officers eating pot candy and throwing darts after destroying — or so they thought — all the surveillance cameras inside the cannabis shop.

The video footage shows an officer stuffing something into his mouth and handing something to another cop, who asks him “What flavor?” The officers then laugh. The footage is too grainy to be certain that the item that the officer picks up from the counter of the cannabis shop is in fact a pot edible, although the behavior of the officers suggests this is the case.

Voters in Santa Ana approved a lottery system to allow legal cannabis collectives in the city — Cypress Hill frontman B-Real won a license, and Sky High Holistic did not — but an Orange County Superior Court judge recently issued a temporary restraining order against the measure.

Sky High Holistic knew it was operating illegally, according to reports, and that’s also part of the reason its staff installed hidden video cameras in the facility — cameras that later caught the police’s post-raid activity.

Another portion of the recently released video shows police ushering the staff and customers from the shop, and later a female police officer said she wanted to kick dispensary manager Marla James — a 54-year-old wheelchair-bound amputee and marijuana activist — in her “nub.”

The video footage was edited and given to the media by Long Beach lawyer Matthew Pappas, who told Los Angeles’ CW-affiliated KTLA that he plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of James, “alleging gross mistreatment by officers during the raid.”

The second video from the dispensary’s cameras:

From KTLA’s report:

“I’d like to see the police officers disciplined for the behavior that goes on here. I’d like to see the city stop engaging in illegal conduct,” Pappas said.

The Police Department is conducting an internal investigation in response to the video, according to police Cmdr. Chris Revere.

“We’re obviously concerned about the conduct that we saw in the edited video,” Revere said. “We’re also concerned that the video was heavily edited. We’d like to see the original video in its unedited version.”

Revere said he “couldn’t say for certain” the officers were consuming pot edibles in the video.

According to the Orange County Register, “None of the officers involved in the raid have been placed on administrative leave.”

From The Register’s report:

The internal affairs investigation could take several weeks and will involve reviewing the videos and interviewing the officers and those present at the dispensary when the raid took place. A final report will be delivered to Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas, who will determine if the officers violated department policies, Revere said.

Of the female officer’s comment — “I was about to kick her in her f—ing nub” — James told KTLA, “They intimidated me. They threatened me, and then they let us go. What they did, it was like shooting fish in a barrel.”