DA Wasn't Kidding About Pot Clinic Crackdown

Making good on a promise, the DA prosecutes a popular medical marijuana dispensary operator

Steve Cooley warned us this would happen. 

Back in October, the LA County District Attorney said state law doesn't allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell pot over the counter. He vowed to target any pot clinics engaging in over-the-counter sales.

On Monday, the DA's office charged the operator of a popular Culver City-area dispensary with 24 felonies. Bail was set at $520,000 for Organica's Jeff Joseph.

He was charged with selling, transporting and possessing marijuana. Joseph pleaded not guilty.  

The bail amount is what gets Joseph's attorney. Attorney Eric Shevin called the bail "outrageous" and said the case was "politically driven," according to the LA Times.

Cooley has announced he is considering a run for attorney general.

"So they use a very high-profile individual, unfortunately in this case, Mr. Joseph, to basically stand up for everybody," Shevin told the Times.


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The DA's office said that's not the case.

"There have been dozens of cases that the office has filed," Joseph Esposito, of the DA's office, told the Times. "We're going to evaluate every case differently."

Cooley and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich have a lot in common on the issue. Last week, Joseph was taken into LAPD custody after a raid -- the third at the dispensary.

Joseph closed after the second raid, but reopened.

Trutanich has filed lawsuits against Organica, an Eagle Rock facility and two South LA locations.

Prosecutors claimed in court that Organica sometimes turned monthly profits of $100,000. Joseph was called an "ongoing threat to the community," according to the Times' report.

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