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Santa Ana Pays Out $100K Lawsuit After Cops Steal Pot Edibles

Misbehavior by police officers costs city big money.

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The city of Santa Ana, California has agreed to pay $100,000 to a medical marijuana dispensary after cops were caught on video eating their products and insulting their staff during a raid. In May of 2015, cops raided the Sky High Holistic dispensary for operating without a permit. The city of Santa Ana only allows 20 dispensaries within the city, licenses for which are given out via the city's “lottery” system. Sky High did not receive a license, but had been continuing to operate despite not having one.

Police attempted to remove the dispensary's security cameras during the raid, but they missed one, which recorded all of the cops' actions once they got inside. The video shows one of the cops unwrapping and eating one of the store's edibles, while another asks, “what flavor?” More disturbingly, the cops are overheard insulting one of the dispensary's volunteers, a woman whose leg had been amputated. “Did you punch that one-legged old Benita?” one cop asked. A female officer responded: “I was about to kick her in the fucking nub.”

The city has agreed to pay a settlement of $100,000 to settle a federal lawsuit connected to the raid, and will drop all charges against 12 people who had been charged with operating the business unlawfully. The lawsuit claims that the cops caused extensive damage to the dispensary and seized thousands of dollars in cash and marijuana products. The settlement will be divided between the woman who the cops insulted and an unrelated physician whose nearby office lost power and water during the duration the raid.

Sky High's attorney has petitioned the Orange County Superior Court to return the money and goods seized in the raid, and is continuing to seek damages on behalf of the dispensary. The three cops conducting the raid were suspended from the force after the video went viral, and have been charged with misdemeanor petty theft. None of the three officers are still employed by the Santa Ana Police Department, for undisclosed reasons. 

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