Santa Ana to pay marijuana dispensary $100,000 after video appears to back police harassment claims


The city of Santa Ana will pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging police harassment during a raid on a marijuana dispensary.

The city will also drop misdemeanor charges against a dozen people accused of unlawfully operating Sky High Holistic, the Orange County Register reported Wednesday.

Attorney Matthew Pappas said the money will go to two Sky High volunteers and an unrelated doctor whose nearby office was affected by last year’s raid.


The suit was filed after surveillance video showed police playing darts and an officer making demeaning comments about a woman in a wheelchair. Another officer can be seen eating what appears to be a pot-laced edible, according to the lawyer.

Santa Ana Deputy City Manager Roberto Cortez declined to discuss the settlement, the newspaper said.

The suit alleged that Mayor Miguel Pulido and other city employees favored certain dispensaries over others. It said the city put up a ballot proposal, Measure BB, for the November 2014 election, soliciting payments from collectives with the promise of winning a spot in an eventual marijuana permit lottery.

Sky High Holistic did not win a spot in the lottery and its patients allege that because Pulido and other city employees had financial ties with competing dispensaries, they used their positions to close down the competition.

Pulido denied the allegations and said the city hired a firm to conduct the lottery.

Earlier this year, three police officers were charged with misdemeanor petty theft and one with vandalism for allegedly stealing snacks and damaging surveillance cameras. They are no longer employed by the city’s police department.

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