The Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley has successfully pulled off another kangaroo court conviction of marijuana dispensary owners, this time getting convictions against the owners of The Healing Center. Juan Solis, Sintia Martinez and Jose Lopez are the latest victims of senseless attack by prosecutors and judges who rig the trial.
Welcome to another episode of Santa Barbara Superior Court, where the fix is always in.
Things started in 2010 when an “investigation” (meaning they read the fliers from the legal storefront) by Santa Barbara Police Department narcotics “detectives” resulted in the owners of the dispensary being arrested for marijuana sales activity. The owners re-opened the business a short time later and were arrested again. Twice would seem a little excessive, but it wasn’t the end. A few months later.. it happened yet again.
This time, the then-new district attorney managed to get the case in front of the (dis)Honorable Frank J. Ochoa, who ruled that it is illegal for anyone to sell marijuana and disallowed the defendants any defense based on the legality of medical marijuana. The court also rejected the plea that the dispensary was a legal California cooperative which was serving its members. The judge based these defense-destroying restrictions on his interpretation of the law, stating that medical marijuana is not allowed to be “for sale” in California.
The judge is solely responsible for setting precedent in California that makes medical marijuana dispensaries and cooperatives the subject of shutdown and criminal action by federal and local authorities.
After more than a decade of MMJ and dispensaries in California, one judge and his kangaroo court threw it all under the bus.