The medical-marijuana cooperative has survived two Drug Enforcement Administration raids – including one last week – and continues to provide medication to its 2,900 members.
“I’ve been first in line, and I’ve been in early every day, so I would continue to be the first in line to solve this issue,” said Aaron Sandusky, the president of G3.
Federal law prohibits marijuana, but California voters approved the use of the drug for medical purposes in 1996.
The cooperative has a case pending in the state Supreme Court against the city, which has been fighting to close down G3 Holistic since it opened in 2009.
Councilman Ken Willis, who has been vocal against medical marijuana, said the situation is now between G3 and the federal government.
“But I would caution them,” Willis said. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to flaunt yourself in front of the federal authorities. They have jurisdiction.”
The co-op was recuperating from its first raid in November when it was raided again March 12.
Federal agents last week confiscated at least 25 pounds of marijuana and 89 pounds of edible products that contained marijuana.
But, G3 members got together and restocked the co-op so they could reopen.
“We’re under duress from the previous raid,” Sandusky said. “I’m trying to recover as much as I can. I’m asking everyone to work for medications right now and volunteer as much time as they can. Everybody’s obviously very willing to help out.”
Brian Muehlen of Ontario, who has been a member of G3 since it opened, was in the cooperative during the first raid.
“It’s ridiculous that they’re wasting all this federal tax money to come steal everything that’s legal in our state,” said Muehlen, who has been volunteering at the co-op.
“There’s nothing I like more than listening to a patient tell me they’ve cut five or six pills out of their life that makes them loopy and hurts their liver.
“They cut them out of their life because of this medicine, and we should be able to provide that medicine for those people.”
The November raid left G3 Holistic without any medical marijuana, $22,000 in unfunded payroll liability and a $44,000 bill with Southern California Edison. Sandusky’s 50 employees lost their health insurance and were forced to apply for unemployment.
G3 Holistic cooperatives in Colton and Moreno Valley, a warehouse in Ontario, Sandusky’s home in Rancho Cucamonga and the Rialto home of his partner John Nuckolls were also all raided in November.
As a result of the raid, the co-ops closed.
Sandusky re-opened the Upland location, at 1710 W. Foothill Blvd., on Dec. 30.
Sandusky is suing the landlord of the Ontario warehouse, alleging that the landlord stole some assets not taken during the raid, and is involved in litigation with Colton and Moreno Valley.
The city of Upland was granted an injunction in August 2010 by a West Valley Superior Court judge in Rancho Cucamonga. The city’s zoning laws prohibit marijuana dispensaries.
The case has since been heard in the 4th District Appellate Court in Riverside, which ruled in favor of the city, but attorneys for G3 have taken the fight to the state’s top court.
Upland has reached out to the federal government regarding their fight against cooperatives in the city. The city has spent more than $400,000 fighting medical marijuana.
However, Willis said he first learned of the raid a couple hours later while at the dentist.
“The feds don’t go around telling people they plan to raid some place,” he said. “The DEA or the FBI don’t have a list of friends that they call before they raid.”
UPLAND — The Drug Enforcement Administration on Monday raided G3 Holistic Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary that has had been in an almost constant struggle with city and federal officials in recent years.
Here’s a rundown of some of the notable rulings as well as actions from past few years:
November: G3 Holistic opens at 1710 W. Foothill Blvd. in Upland.
August: G3 closed due to injunction granted by West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga on behalf of Upland. The city’s zoning ordinance bans medical marijuana dispensaries.
September: G3 appeals injunction in Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside.
February: G3 files claim with city accusing former Mayor John Pomierski of extortion. According to the allegation, Pomierski tried to extort money from G3 President Aaron Sandusky in exchange for allowing G3 to operate.
March 2: Pomierski indicted on federal extortion charges. He is accused of extorting money from two Upland businesses, Chronic Cantina and quite possibly G3.
June 20: Court of Appeals grants stay on the injunction until G3’s case is heard in court.
July 3: G3 reopens.
Nov. 1: G3 is raided by the DEA and then closes because of the confiscation of its medical marijuana and payroll.
Nov. 2: Arguments regarding G3 heard in Court of Appeals.
Nov. 9: Court of Appeals rules in favor of city’s injunction based on zoning ordinance that bans dispensaries.
Dec. 12: G3 attorneys files appeal with state Supreme Court.
Dec. 30: G3 reopens under the interpretation that the stay granted by the Court of Appeals is in effect since Sandusky is appealing through the state Supreme Court.
Jan. 6: Upland officials takes G3 to West Valley Superior Court on an ex parte hearing to determine whether they can remain open per the Court of Appeals’ stay. Judge Barry Plotkin decides to further review his jurisdiction and the Court of Appeals’ stay.
Jan. 9: Upland files motion with Court of Appeals to dissolve the stay granted in June.
Jan. 10: G3 attorney sends letter to Court of Appeals.
Jan. 17: Court of Appeals returned city’s motion to dissolve the stay.
Jan. 18 : State Supreme Court grants review of the appeal.
Jan. 19: G3 and the city return to West Valley Superior Court. Judge Barry Plotkin rules in favor of G3 because the case was taken by the state Supreme Court.
March 12: Drug Enforcement Administration agents raid G3 in Upland and seize medical marijuana.
News Hawk – 420 Warrior 420 MAGAZINE
Location: Ontario, CA
Source: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Author: Sandra Emerson
Contact: [email protected]
Copyright: 2012 Los Angeles Newspaper Group