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Cannabis Dispensaries Cleared


By Jim Davis



On March 1 the Times-Herald reported that two more prosecutions of Vallejo cannabis dispensaries were dismissed for lack of proof.  That’s Vallejo 0, Dispensaries 4, with a total of four dismissals since the city began its campaign to rid Vallejo of this evil weed.  No one is surprised by this outcome other than the Vallejo government and police force; they don’t have a clue; never did.

I am asking the council to provide figures on what these misadventures cost us.  Add it up:


Investigations, which require documentation and time (police hanging around the dispensaries in unmarked cars, taking photos and videos of people going in and out, checking license plates, identifying and tracking down the individuals involved (sellers and buyers), doing background checks on all these individuals; police going undercover and pretending to be cannabis patients so as to discover violations of the law with their very own eyes, emerging to write detailed reports of nefarious doings, i.e., questionable business practices, they witnessed);


Raids (city attorney time wasted first in research to show the dispensaries were “illegal” under our ordinances because we didn’t list them (he apparently didn’t know about the state law) and then research to transform these entrepreneurs into “criminals,” so they could be removed and incarcerated “legally”; police time, documentation of all property seized and all individuals found on scene, rides for all to the Fairfield jail, police time for booking and incarceration, DA time for scheduling, charging, and prosecuting);


Court (District Attorney amasses a case to prove these entrepreneurs are “criminals”; time conducting these prosecutions, court reporters, transcripts, judges, and police testifying instead of catching real criminals).


This does not include the time spent by our government officials—city attorney, city manager, and every council member—manufacturing this farce.  And they did this after the city voted by a large margin to tax the dispensaries, which one might have thought was a signal to the Gestapo chief and council supplicants that the citizens wanted the dispensaries treated as businesses not criminals.  I would not be surprised if the attorney for the dispensaries (Terence Hallinan of San Francisco) sues the city and every council member for abuse of process.  They turned entrepreneurs into criminals, with metaphysics and their notions of “morality,” without regard to the law.


Whatever we’ve wasted in resources on silliness to date, let us hope it does not continue.  Our new city attorney, Claudia Quintana, told me last month that the dispensaries are “illegal.” When I told her she is wrong, she added, “unless they’re following the rules.”  I think her legal analysis needs work and maturation; as the cases proceed through the courts she will have a better understanding of the law.  In the meantime, let us hope she guides the council in a constructive approach to dispensaries and lets the “Nicholini Raiders” melt into the woodwork.


Note: All opinions expressed in the "Primal Scream" column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin