Oct 132013
 October 13, 2013

obama medical marijuana enforcementCourtesy of The Joint Blog

Earlier this week, the  U.S. Attorney’s office made an uncharacteristically reasonable move, and dropped all charges against several California landlords renting to dispensaries. As property forfeiture has remained a major risk of renting to dispensaries (and other medical marijuana related establishments), landlords in medical cannabis-permitting states are no doubt breathing a collective sign of relief, hoping this will set precedent across the nation.

Tony Jalali, a software engineer who invested in a $1.5 million piece of property in Anaheim as a means towards his retirement, was facing asset forfeiture for renting to a dispensary. His was the first case dropped. After an undercover DEA agent forged a medical recommendation and, posing as a legitimate patient, purchased $37 of cannabis from the dispensary renting from Tony, the U.S. threatened to seize his property, and gave him an ultimatum – he could lose the property, or agree to surprise inspections from the government, who would be checking to assure that he never rents to a dispensary again.

Represented by his attorney Matthew Pappas and the Institute for Justice, Tony refused the terms. Now, the case has been dropped with prejudice, which means they can’t threaten to seize his property again. “There will be no refiling of these actions,” said Pappas, speaking on the victory. The only condition to the case being dropped was that Tony not demand that the U.S. government pay his attorney fees.

Other landlords who had their case dropped the same day included Dr. Mark Burcaw, who was renting to a dispensary in Santa Ana, Walter and Diane Botsch, who were renting to a dispensary in Eagle Rock (LA), and Tom Woo, who was also renting to a dispensary in So-Cal.

“It’s pretty amazing for them to come up and dismiss the cases, pretty unusual,” Pappas said, while offering his thoughts on how this is a direct result of the Obama administration’s shifting policy on marijuana. “I think it’s a major victory for patients, for citizens in general.”

While cannabis advocates across the country will need to continue the fight for legalization (both medical and recreational), and legitimization, this is most definitely a victory in the war against the war on cannabis.

Source: TheJointBlog.Com

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Dezza

    Awesome, if only our stupid Australian Government(s) would take note and lead the world the Cannabis reform…

    • Dr.B

      Lol it is great, but did you notice we are closed? lol At least your Gov is open for business.

    • painkills2

      Australia’s government seems to be tilting to the right, which is not a good sign. But if anyone can do it, Australia can.

  • waltinseattle

    what with limited resources, I guess they have to pick their battles better. or is this the turning point, where they realize you can f some of the citizens some of the times…but you cant f all the people all of the tim…and they are finally trying to back up very cautiously? being carefull not to turn from more agressive citizens, showing their backs…great way to be eatten alive///

  • painkills2

    It is a positive sign, but a victory? Then, what’s this: “The only condition to the case being dropped was that Tony not demand that the U.S. government pay his attorney fees.” That doesn’t seem fair. :(

  • Johnny oneye

    One step closer to legitimacy
    They cant.afforf the.war on cannabis
    They never should have been arrested or hassled
    Hold them responsible for wasting resources!

  • Greg Hostetler

    And why aren’t these so called “POLICE OFFICERS” that falsified legal documents in jail ? they have committed crimes and get away scott free ?? WTF ??? Oh yea what am I saying……its ok now for the good guys to do bad things as long as they are “POLICE” faking legal documents, killing innocent people, infringing on 2nd and 4th amendments just to name a few ! I think Mr. Mcvay had the right idea just the wrong group of people ! this is what our government is teaching us now days !!

    • http://betamaxmas.com/ Major Domo

      I completely agree. Asset forfeiture is big business and the cop clubs will not stop willingly.

  • Tom Korby

    Asset Forfeiture, No, No, Must Go!

  • Michael L. Wallace Jr.

    Legalization is Found in this Pitch : Eating Raw Unheated Marijuana Daily Prevents Cancer Cell Growth. The Absence of Cannabis from the Human Diet due to Prohibition has Brought about the Many Horrific Disease & illnesses we Face Today. Proof that Marijuana kills cancer cells was discovered in 1974 at the Medical College of Virginia in a study funded by the National Institute of Health. Yet children are still being injected with radioactive waste.