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Robbery Victim Asks for Return of Medical Marijuana

The law firm representing the victim in an alleged armed robbery Monday outside Denny's in Temecula says the police are wrongfully holding his clients' prescriptions.

The victim of the recent alleged armed robbery Monday outside Denny's in Temecula said his medical marijuana, which was confiscated by police, needs to be returned.

The robbery was reported at about 8:17 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of Denny’s, 28915 Rancho California Road in Temecula, according to the Temecula Police Department. The victim proceeded to chase the suspects to Murrieta.

Following the pursuit, which ended on Interstate 15 near California Oaks Road in Murrieta, the robbery victim’s medical marijuana was confiscated by deputies, according to a law firm representing him.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department, which the City of Temecula contracts with for police services, says the medical marijuana was lawfully seized.

"The marijuana was taken for evidentiary reasons as it is a ‘fruit of the crime,'" said Riverside County Sheriff's Department Spokesperson Sgt. Lisa McConnell.

The law firm representing the victim disagrees.

“There are no longer operational collectives in the Temecula, Murrieta and other surrounding areas at this time,” said Sergio Sandoval, spokesperson for Pappas Law Group. “In response to the sudden closures of these collectives, this collective has been operating a delivery service to provide safe and timely administration of medication to his patients. During a routine delivery process...this managing patient was robbed at gunpoint."

After he was allegedly robbed, the victim's pursuit of the victims wound north on Interstate 15, then through Murrieta neighborhoods and eventually ended when the suspects crashed into an embankment.

Responding Temecula police officers apprehended one of the suspects, Eduardo Torres, of Murrieta at the crash site, according to the report from police. Another suspect, Johnny Nie, also of Murrieta was located and arrested shortly thereafter.

Sandoval’s complaint is that as the suspects were taken into custody, the victim’s medical marijuana was also confiscated.

“The police confiscated the patient group's medication that the managing patient had with him for delivery to patient members. They have now refused to return that medication despite state law—specifically the case of Kha v. City of Garden Grove—that requires the return of that medication so it can be provided to patients,” Sandoval said.

He went on to say the robbery victim was not arrested or charged with a crime “because he complies fully with state law.”

While the robbery took place in Temecula, the victim is affiliated with a dispensary—Diamond Star Remedies—that was recently shut down by the city of Murrieta.

City bans on medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives—such as those in place in Temecula and Murrieta—lead to these type of incidents, he said.

“The actions...that led to this unnecessary robbery because it forced closure of the collective combined with the...refusal to return the medication highlights the discrimination that is taking place against patients whose doctors have recommended medical marijuana,” Sandoval said.

The evidence collected in this case, however, must be kept until the suspects are prosecuted, according to the Sheriff's Department.

“...The case is still an open investigation,” McConnell said. “The (armed robbery) portion has been referred to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution...We are required by the DA’s office to retain custody of all evidence in a case until the case is adjudicated and the evidence in the case is no longer needed.”

Further, McConnell said in reviewing Kha v. City of Garden Grove, the circumstances do not apply to this investigation.

“In that case, there was no need to retain the marijuana as there were no criminal proceedings,” McConnell said. “In this case, there are criminal proceedings. The marijuana in this case is a fruit of the crime and will be needed to appropriately prosecute the suspects.”

livinsloher February 02, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Tobias... I am in agreement! what a bunch of idiots!
K4299R February 02, 2013 at 04:03 AM
Prescription meds my a$$. Call it what it really is, an easy way to get high.,... nothing more, nothing less.
K4299R February 02, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Brenda, once again, you show how little you know about most things. Just because it isn't brought into the court room, so it cannot be tampered with or moved unnecessarily, doesn't mean it isn't stored.
Andy February 02, 2013 at 05:59 AM
And prescription meds don't get you high(er)? At least pot is non-toxic, doesn't kill anyone, and has healing properties. The same cannot be said with pharmaceutical drugs, which kill over 100,000 every year.
Gandhi February 02, 2013 at 08:05 AM
This is a travesty and a sham of justice! I think the marijuana should be returned to those who paid for it. All this bs about Temecula and Murrieta not allowing dispensaries in their towns is about to come crashing down on them anyway. We allow "massage parlors" here I've noticed, any idea what goes on in some of them? Totaly illegal, but I dont see the cops busting them, and they hand out business licenses to them like they were givin candy out to trick or treaters!!
Shannon February 03, 2013 at 07:36 AM
Give the man back his pot. Regardless of your position on the medical marijuana issue, if this man has the necessary doctor recommendation he is entitled to his property. I utilize medical marijuana for severe chronic pain among other things. I prefer tinctures, oral spray, or tea but believe everyone has a choice how to best utilize this COMPLETELY natural herb. I have been able to quit taking the highly addictive and toxic narcotics Vicodin and Oxycontin as a result of cannabis use. Thanks to Murrieta ban on dispensaries, I must travel close to an hour to a legally operated dispensary. This is unacceptable access for medications. So, based on the many comments above I guess I am a "pot head". Although I have no doubt that many of those that believe that enjoy a couple glasses of wine or beer while dining out, then get in their car and drive home. Many times with kids in tow. (Just watch the families at pizza places...parents downing a pitcher of beer and piling the kids into the mini van to go home). I really loathe hypocrites.
SPB February 04, 2013 at 03:17 PM
livin, yeah! How dare people try to help others remedy their ailments!
Gandhi February 04, 2013 at 10:27 PM
I agree totally with you Shannon, you are NOT a "pot head". I, personally, do not need to use marijuana, I am very healthy, however, I will defend YOUR right to use it, because I see the "big picture" of what the government is doing, and its not right. Prescription meds are unacceptable, and I believe everybody should have the right to have access to marijuana if it helps them, in whatever way they deem they need help! If alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs are all legal, what on earth isnt something as inocuous and actually good for you as pot legal?? My mother was addicted to Vicodin, I saw the damage it did believe me, I totally am on your side Shannon. As far as alcohol consumption goes, yes, why is it legal to serve in public places and then the cops are just sitting their waiting to give you a dui? VERY DISTURBING. Right now we basically have "prohibition" on pot. Remember what happened when they had "Prohibition" on alcohol? What is the matter with our government officials anyway? Next time you vote make sure you vote for someone who will legalize marijuana, ask them!
Gandhi February 05, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Actually Steve, we DID legalize medical marijuana years ago in the state of California!! Also, I guarantee you just because the state has to "license" a massage parlor doesnt mean they arent still giving "nice finishes" believe me, all the government wants is to get "CUT IN" on the action. They're a bunch of crooks. This is how the game is always played, but in this particular instance, I, and many many others, would stand up to them, en masse if necessary! Remember the protests in the sixties? Thats whats going to happen here soon, because of our crooked greedy government and their inability to listen to their own constituents. Cancer can cure cancer, and we're sitting here throwin kids in jail cuz they want to get buzz??? This is outrageous, ridiculous, and pathetic, please don't tell me what is or is not legal, I obviously know the law better than you do.
Gandhi February 05, 2013 at 03:46 AM
Oops, meant to say marijuana, not cancer cures cancer, specifically Cannabis Indica Oil, aka "hemp oil", which is the extremely condensed version of marijuana, NOT just smoking it.
Gandhi February 05, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Also Steve, you are wrong on another score, they DO WAIT for you to leave the bars. I know, it happened to me, and I did NOTHING STUPID, was driving completely fine, the cops lied on their report about nearly everything. So please don't tell me what the cops do or dont do, and I'm not a "dude" thank you.
David Matson February 05, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Really it's about access, It shouldn't be this hard to get a legal prescription refilled! http://www.drugpossessionlaws.com/robbery-victim-wants-his-medical-marijuana-back-from-police/
Gandhi February 05, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Hey Steve - go take a flying leap at a rolling donut!! YOU were not there!! Speaking from ignorance as usual!! Your comments are worthless since they are not based on facts. Are YOU a cop????! That would explain a lot. State law cannot "trump" federal law? Oh really? Where exactly would I find that law Steve? Do you think that when States pass laws they are worthless if they dont coincide with Federal laws? What would be the point of State government and state laws if that were the case? Hmmmm??! YOU obviously are NOT speaking from any personal experience on ANY level, thats called ignorance, personal experience is NOT "clouding ones thought process" but adding valid information to it, information you you lack completely. NO sarcasm intended.
Gandhi February 06, 2013 at 12:12 AM
Wouldnt want to deprive you of YOUR JOB Steve. ;)
Chris February 06, 2013 at 05:46 PM
@Linda -- I'm afraid in this case, you are the one who is ignorant to the law. What Steve is referring to is called "Federal preemption." According to the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, clause 2) of the United States Constitution, "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." Additionally, the SCOTUS stated in Altria Group v. Good, 555 U.S. 70 (2008): "a federal law that conflicts with a state law will trump, or 'preempt', that state law: Consistent with that command, we have long recognized that state laws that conflict with federal law are 'without effect.' Maryland v. Louisiana, 451 U. S. 725, 746 (1981)" So yes, Linda, when a state law attempts to unrestrict a federal law, the federal law trumps the state law. The general rule of thumb is state laws can be MORE restrictive than federal laws, but not LESS restrictive.
Chris February 06, 2013 at 08:26 PM
@Steve -- No problem. She obviously got a little emotional when referring to her DUI. I wasn't there so I didn't speak to that. But she is totally incorrect when it comes to federal and state law. Responding with actual documented facts is sometimes the best you can do with people. Either she reads and comprehends it, or ignores it. Or she can do her due diligence and Google it herself to see I'm not making it up. That's her choice, but at least the facts are posted and clear.
Gandhi February 07, 2013 at 02:49 AM
Um Chris, I was referring to his assumption that my personal experience "clouded my judgment"! There are ONLY THREE WAYS TO LEARN. One is being taught by someone, the second is educating yourself, reading etc. and the third way is "EXPERIENCE" which is what I was referring to when you stated that my "judgment was clouded by it", an ignorant statement if I ever heard one. I stand corrected on the law then Chris, happy? Good. Anybody have any idea then why Colorado and other states are passing similar laws regarding marijuana? I mean, if the DEA is just going to crack down on them, why would they bother? That doesnt make sense to me. So it would appear, we need to change FEDERAL LAW on marijuana. Of course I believe facts Steve, YOU never bother to post any, and you love to "assume" and call names, treat others with sarcasm, why on earth would I listen to YOU?! Read MY lips for your comprehension Steve.
Gandhi February 07, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Sorry, meant to say "when STEVE stated my judgment was clouded, not you Chris, its getting too intense here....;)
Gandhi February 07, 2013 at 02:52 AM
I apologize, I was wrong, about the state/federal law thing, Chris AND Steve!
Chris February 08, 2013 at 09:57 PM
@Linda -- Like I told Steve, I don't have any personal information about what happened to you, and so I don't have any place commenting about it. I appreciate that you are willing to listen. I happen to believe marijuana should be federally legalized and taxed. The fact that it is not federally legal is the reason it is not condoned in many local municipalities. Cities, counties, etc., don't want to take on the liability. If primary care physicians prescribed it and you could simply get it at a pharmacy like any other medical drug, this kind of stuff would not happen. But again, most doctors and pharmacy companies like your CVS and Rite Aids don't want to take the risk with it being illegal federally. You are right, the DEA often does not take enforcement action against dispensaries in most cases (although it does occasionally occur); it's all politics. But the current situation just creates this tug of war we see in our state over the issue, as well as this sham of a system we have technically set up for patients, but benefiting your everyday potheads that claim to have a backache and get a prescription from the 'doctor' working next door to the dispensary. Not to mention increased crimes of this type with robberies, etc. Get it legal and taxed federally, problem solved, money saved AND made.
Tobias February 12, 2013 at 05:55 PM
The entire concept of "medical marijuana" is such a joke. Someone tell me what "ailment" these two 20 year old thieves suffer from that requires treatment with "medical cannibus?" Headaches? Insomnia? General pain? Any Joe Blow can get a "prescripton" from a "doctor" who works for a collective based on simply giving their word that they have virtually any ailment under the sun. While I agree that there are likely a lot of people who can legitimately benefit from the use of marijuana in a medical sense, the unfortuante truth is that there are even more regular old potheads who just want to get high, and use the "medical" angle to try to make it legal. This incident involves two 20 year old punks who tried to rob a man who was legally dealing drugs to them. He met them to sell them marijuana because they had a "prescription," and they stuck a gun in his face and stole his weed. Will someone please tell me again how legalizing marijuana use is supposed to cut down on crime?!?
Gandhi February 13, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Tobias is one of those who refuse to educate themselves. As the old saying goes "You can lead a horse to a book, but you can't make him read!" ;)
Gandhi February 13, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Here Tobias, READ and educate yourself FIRST before speaking, then you may have some credible comments. http://norml.org/component/zoo/category/recent-research-on-medical-marijuana There are many, many illnesses and diseases that can benefit from marijuana as you will see if you will only READ! Regarding your "point" that some may use pot as an excuse to "get high" without really having a medical issue, all I can say is "SO WHAT?!" Please don't tell me you think alcohol is better or prescription drugs??? I will be happy to pull up more links and documentation on that if that is what you believe, as its completely wrong.
That Temecula Guy March 12, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Not to detract from any of your points; I think what Tobias is getting at this: what are the odds that a couple of 20 year olds that robbed someone at gun point both have Alzheimer's Disease, or ALS, or Chronic Pain, or Diabetes Mellitus, or Dystonia, or Fibromyalgia, or GI Disorders, or Gliomas/Cancer, or Hepatitis C, or HIV, or Huntington's Disease, or Hypertension, or Incontinence, or MRSA, or Multiple Sclerosis, or Osteoporosis, or Pruritus, or Rheumatoid Arthritis, or Sleep Apnea, or Tourette's Syndrome? Sure, some have conditions like that at such a young age, but let's be real; if you have problems, you go to a real doctor to get treated that is going to prescribe a real medicine. For the people that NEED weed, I totally get that. When it's legalized, cool beans. I've got some friends who's adult son still lives with them. He "suffers" from a poor appetite. He enjoyed weed, so used his poor appetite as an excuse to get his card. Now he buys his weed and sells it to his friends. I asked him: If weed was put into a pill form, had all of the benefits of smoking, except you wouldn't get the "high," would you take the pill instead? Answer: no. Getting high is too much fun. It's not a NEED for many, and that's the problem. The one's that don't really need it are ruining it for those that really DO. I say, YES, legalize it, but regulate it and throw more research at it to make it less mind altering in a pill form.
Gandhi March 13, 2013 at 03:01 AM
Well, That Temecula Guy, I am not gambling here, so not interested in "what the odds are", my point is that marijuana is legal for medical purposes in this state, most of us agree it should be just legal across the board federally, its a waste of states time, and our federal tax dollars, to have to send the dea out to each state one by one to come up with some lame excuses to shut down pot operations. I dont like the term "weed", makes it sound like trash, thats what weeds are to me in my landscape, marijuana and hemp are actually two different plants and hemp is one of the most valuable plants on the planet! You can actually make oil to run an auto on from it, and its renewable, obviously, you can build houses with it, clothes, food, you name it. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson BOTH grew it, now how's that for info on the "founding fathers"?! Personally for those who need it medically it should be easily available, and there are pharmaceutical companies currently working on this believe it or not. As far as "getting high" goes, who is it hurting? Any idea how many people have died from speed, "legal" prescription meds and alcohol? Thousands!! Anybody ever die from pot? No. I rest my case. I dont think we need more "regulation" or "taxation", whose side are you guys on anyway? You are not being logical here. People are going to get high one way or another, why not give them something safe to do so?
Gandhi March 15, 2013 at 07:58 AM
I've already posted an extremely informative link above which you OBVIOUSLY couldnt bother to take the time to read Steve, so I will consider your intelligence level on this topic to be nil. Since they've allowed you to call me a "pothead" above, which I am not, I assume I will be allowed to call you a "moron" here, since you are so ignorant.
Gandhi March 16, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Sorry Steve, being ignorant of facts does NOT make you smarter than anybody! Do you know how to spell by the way, I can barely make out what you are typing. I base my opinions on facts, which, obviously you actually choose NOT to do, amazing. Sorry dude, you started the "name calling" first, so I'd suggest you look in the mirror first, its the old conservative tact actually, but as you said, I have better things to do than to argue with someone who CHOOSES to remain ignorant of facts! Here's something intelligent to say to you Steve - Buh bye!!
Desert Dweller March 16, 2013 at 04:05 AM
Linda, the problem with marijuana as a medicinal use is that nobody has lobbied (pumped up bank accounts) of corrupt politicians and the fda. The government knows best, now get back to a synthetic heroine addiction.
Arthur Spooner March 16, 2013 at 04:40 AM
Make sure you vote for someone who will legalize marijuana. It doesn't matter if he or she has terrible values or is bad for our state, just as long as he promote marijuana. Good Lord, woman, listen to yourself. Never EVER vote for someone because of one reason. That is why we are in the situation we are in.
Luci April 05, 2013 at 05:22 PM
I know someone who buys "medical" marijuana and admits what a joke THAT is. Anyway, he was just fine before he wanted to "fit in", and that began his tortured road to blaming everyone else for the many problems he now has.

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