Marijuana Raid at West Valley Caregivers: Michael Paul Hodges Arrested
Corrected! We got the wrong dispensary. A manager reached out to say the target was West Valley Caregivers, not West Valley Patients Group a few doors away, as a witness indicated to us. Sorry about that. The headline has been changed and some background information about the Patients Group, which is still open for patients' medicinal needs, has been deleted.
West Valley Patients Group
Another medical marijuana dispensary was raided in the West San Fernando Valley this week for ... selling pot.
If you're scratching your head, beware that the LAPD and the L.A. City Attorney's office believe that California's cannabis collective law does not allow people to sell weed in a retail environment -- that it only legalizes nonprofit sharing of the drug for the seriously ill.
While that might be up for debate (the author the law told us that for-profit sales are, in fact, allowed), cops in the West Valley are on a tear against pot shops. The latest target:
Patients Group Caregivers. Police would only say that, armed with a search warrant, they hit a shop in the 23000 block of Ventura Boulevard about 1 p.m. yesterday. Raid!
Cops said that after visiting the store and serving a search warrant at an associated, nearby home in the 23100 block of Leonora Drive, they came up with 50 pounds of weed, a pound of hash and $10,000 in cash -- "evidence," they argue, of "illegal drug sales."
Officers arrested 23-year-old Michael Paul Hodges on suspicion of possessing pot for sale. He was jailed in lieu of $20,000 bail. Another unnamed suspect in the case was not yet found, police said.
Even as the rest of the city debates the legality of dispensaries, officials from the LAPD's Topanga Division have made up their minds and are wiping out weed businesses in the area.
[Added at 2:35 p.m. Friday]: The City Attorney's office reached out and argues that, even though the author of California's dispensary law, SB 420, says he intended to allow for-profit sales of pot, a subsequent California Supreme Court decision -- People v. Kelly -- made it a moot point and essentially confirmed that weed can't be sold in the Golden State.