Due to the escalation persecution of California medical marijuana dispensaries by the Obama administration, several retired police offers and judges will hold a press conference in Santa Ana today to announce and garner support for a statewide ballot initiative to regulate marijuana in the same fashion as wine. These retired law enforcement officials propose that passing this voter initiative will give California a platform to opt out of the Controlled Substances Act entirely.
“For the federal government to interfere with state and local implementation of California’s medical marijuana law is tantamount to a government bailout for criminal gangs and violent drug cartels. For some reason the federal government wants to force legal medical marijuana patients toward a dangerous criminal market and away from an above-ground industry that pays over $100 million per year in state taxes and provides jobs for thousands of our citizens. California voters can tell the feds to back off and let Californians implement our own laws by voting to regulate marijuana like wine next November.” said James Gray, former superior court judge from Orange County.
The press conference will be taking place at the Plaza of the Flags, which is behind the Santa Ana Courthouse (Located at: 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701), it is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM.
One of the things I am most thankful for is the fact that I live in such a progressive and liberal state. Arrests for pot violations in California are in swift decline due to the controversy surrounding the legalization of marijuana. I wouldn’t consider myself a model citizen, but I would not label myself a criminal either. I abide by the law, but I also do not give a badge wielding officer an inch where they might take a mile. It is generally a good idea to follow these guidelines when interacting with law enforcement.
You have the right to be in any public place and to observe police activity!
If the police stop anyone …
- STOP AND WATCH!
- Write down officers’ names, badge numbers, and car numbers. Sometimes it can be difficult for a third party to get close enough to record their information without needlessly escalating the encounter. COPS CAN BE IDENTIFIED BY THE NUMBERS ON THEIR VEHICLES.
- Write down the time, date, and place of the incident and all details as soon as possible.
- Ask if the person is being arrested, and if so, on what charge.
- Get witnesses’ names and contact information.
- Try to get arrestees’ names, but only if they are already known to the police.
- Document any injuries as soon as possible. Photograph them and prepare a medical report describing the details of the injuries.
If the police stop you …
- Ask, “AM I FREE TO GO?” If not, you are being detained. If yes, walk away.
- Ask, “WHY ARE YOU DETAINING ME?” To stop you, an officer must have a “reasonable suspicion” to suspect your involvement in a specific crime (not just a guess or stereotype).
- It is not a crime to be without ID. If you are being detained or issued a ticket, you may want to show ID to the cop because they can take you to the station to verify your identity.
- If a cop tries to search your car, your house, or your person, say repeatedly that you DO NOT CONSENT TO THE SEARCH. If in a car, do not open your trunk or door — by doing so you consent to a search of your property and of yourself. If at home, step outside and lock your door behind you so cops have no reason to enter your house. Ask to see the warrant and check for proper address, judge’s signature, and what the warrant says the cops are searching for. Everything must be correct in a legal warrant. Otherwise, send the police away.
- The cops can do a “pat search” (search the exterior of one’s clothing for weapons) during a detention for “officer safety reasons.” They can’t go into your pockets or bags without your consent. If you are arrested, they can search you and your possessions in great detail.
- DO NOT RESIST PHYSICALLY. Use your words and keep your cool. If officers violate your rights, don’t let them provoke you into striking back. Wait until you are out of custody, then organize for justice.
- Police can arrest someone they believe is “interfering” with their actions. Maintain a reasonable distance, and if cops threaten to arrest you, EXPLAIN THAT YOU DON’T MEAN TO INTERFERE, BUT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO OBSERVE THEIR ACTIONS.
If the police arrest you …
- You may be handcuffed, searched, photographed, and fingerprinted.
- Say repeatedly, “I DON’T WANT TO TALK UNTIL MY LAWYER IS PRESENT.” Even if your rights aren’t read, refuse to talk until your lawyer/public defender arrives.
- Do not talk to inmates in jail about your case.
- If you’re on probation/parole, tell your P.O. you’ve been arrested, but NOTHING ELSE.
REMEMBER, You have legal rights, but many police will not respect your rights. BE CAREFUL — BE STREET SMART.