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Pot Shop Owner Stacy Hochanadel Wants Warrent Voided


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A former Palm Desert medical marijuana dispensary operator and his two managers, who are facing trial on drug charges, will ask today that a search warrant used in the case be quashed. Stacy Hochanadel, the former owner of CannaHelp, and managers James Campbell and John Bednar, all 31, were arrested in December 2006, and charged with felony possession of marijuana for sale, transport and sale of marijuana, and keeping a place to sell controlled substances.

The three contend they were running a legal medical marijuana business under Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420. Under California law, marijuana can be sold on a not-for-profit basis to patients with a doctor's prescription, although it is illegal under federal law.

In ordering the three to stand trial, Judge Eric G. Helgesen of Tulare County said Dec. 7 it appeared the defendants violated the law because the dispensary was profitable, generating well over $1 million in sales.

Bednar's attorney, Phillip La Rocca, said Thursday that evidence from a search warrant on the dispensary should be ruled inadmissible because the affidavit filed in support of the warrant, "misstated the law on medical marijuana and was full of conclusions not supported by facts."

According to the affidavit, a sheriff's investigator said surveillance of the El Paseo dispensary indicated the customers weren't really sick.

"That's something that's not observable, and the magistrate who approved the search warrant was misled," La Rocca said.

Marijuana and financial records were seized at CannaHelp, 73359 El Paseo, in December 2006 during a raid by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

During December's preliminary hearing to determine if there was enough evidence to order the defendants to stand trial, sheriff's investigator Robert Garcia testified that CannaHelp generated $1.6 million from the sale of marijuana.

He also conceded the defendants never tried to hide their business from law enforcement and that it would be unfair to compare them to street-level drug dealers.

Garcia testified that an undercover officer twice purchased marijuana on the premises for what he said was a back problem.

He also conceded that CannaHelp tried to comply with the law and that the dispensary refused to sell to the first undercover officer who tried to purchase marijuana because employees could not verify his doctor's prescription.

The three defendants have been allowed to remain free on their own recognizance on the condition that they do not obtain marijuana in excess of what the law allows. All three men are medical marijuana cardholders with prescriptions for the drug. They also cannot sell the drug or provide it to patients in a care-giving capacity.

If convicted, they could be sentenced to 16 months to two years in prison, prosecutors said.

Source: DeSun, The (Palm Springs, CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Desert Sun
Contact: MyDesert.com | Contact Us | The Desert Sun
Website: MyDesert.com | The Desert Sun | Palm Springs news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Palm Springs, California


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Stacy's operation on El Paseo was a class act, and was run very discreetly
not harming any other business in the given area. Why did he have to be put through a lot of trouble trying to establish the business after the law was ratified under proposition 215? The city was afraid of its image and not concerned about the sick and suffering customer that this business served.
I think that there should be a day when the sick and suffering of the general public, who wants to purchase a legalized drug, should not be harassed by the city government.
I believe that the sting operation was to deter his business in the given area. I believe that the city has a NIMBY attitude. That is too bad, when the sick are
placed in the position to suffer, not only from not being able to purchase a legalized drug, but be harangued by the city government, who is supposed to protect its public. This is a disgrace to any one trying to follow the new laws and to the sick, as well.


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Dear User,
Thanks for your prompt reply. Now, between us and as many others that we can find to build this forum: Let's get the word out, to the city government(s) that we will follow our voter's rights and enforce the new proposition's enforcement on our legislator's books, as good citizens should....
Get the message out, please,

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
well.... i haven't built any forums. i moderate the news and contribute in the other forums when i can. Rob/420 is the man that created 420 Magazine and pays the bills here. and then there are the members who contribute most of the content. its all of us who contribute content, energy & hopefully a bit of money from time to time that keep building the site.


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Dear Sabin,
Thanks for the reply. I think I understood you to say that when you, Sabin, enter a dispensary, your prescription is always verified, correct? So, when the undercover police entered Stacy's marijuana dispensary, CannaHelp, are you suggesting that their prescription was verified and after they sold the product to them?? If that is what you are saying, then why did the investigator's have the right to arrest the owners? That is very interesting point, indeed.
Another point, you make is, that no matter who is involved, the grower, the middle man or delivery man, and the seller, all are in the business to make a profit, correct? Then why are the investigators so angry over the profit that the dispensary collected over the preceding year? I am supposing that the dispensary has a lot of sick clients and are indeed there to run it as a business concern, why should they be harangued over the profit, right????
You rock, and make some very good points.
Thanks for being in the fight against those who don't want the sick in their neighborhood, and the right that a business has to make a profit, grower, middle man or delivery man, and seller. Great points, indeed!!!!! ( I know that the government has certain limits on the sale of marijuana, but, those limits should be lifted from dispensary sales, period).


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At Least In Cali. You Have Access To Dispensaries When Out Here In Alaska There Is Not A One & Never Has Been One There Is No Way At All Of Obtaining A Medical Card Out Here Due To The Gestapo Tactic Of The Fed's
Even Though A Good Majority Of Our Dr.'s Don't Have A Issue With Cannabis In Any Way
The Only Legal Access For Obtaining The Paperwork For A Med. Card Is Through The State & One Person Only
This Person Is More Unwilling To Help Out The People Who Benefit From Cannabis Than The F^&*$$in Fed's
So Even Though It's Medically Legal There Is N O Way In Obtaining The Medical Card Because Also The Dr's Who Have Oked The Use In The Past Have Been Harassed & The Patient's Harassed
A Couple Of The Dr's Have Lost There Business's & Dr License To Practice Medicine Yet Good Old Alcohol Is Fine As Always
When Will The People Of This Country
Take Real Action???
Before Another Family Is Destroyed Because Of Bullsh*t Law's & Corrupt Politicians


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already sabian you have no clue to what is happening
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if it was as easy as you think i & many others would have done more along time ago but due to political B.S. & stupidity of those that have taken over our local government the chance of starting up a co-op is like playing Russian roulette aside for the doctor's why would any of them take a chance like that when history reflects the Gestapo tactic of the Fed's regardless of our state laws & constitution
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if that single person in alaska is your bottle nerck on medical cards
for folks that have federaly recognized disabilities you might be able to use the feds against that one with the disabilities act...

some local folks here have raised hell about shoddy wheelchair ramps and curbs and govt haDTO GET THEM REDONE

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
I think we can all express ourselves without showing disrespect. Lets just move along on topic. Thanks.
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