By Wes Woods II and Sandra Emerson
Created: 06/20/2012 06:08:08 PM PDT
UPLAND – City Manager Stephen Dunn this week pushed back against accusations that the city has asked the federal government to crack down on the G3 Holistic medical marijuana dispensary.
Attorney Roger Jon Diamond has said the city is out to get his client, G3 Holistic President Aaron Sandusky, for continuing to fight Upland over medical marijuana issues in court.
Sandusky and five employees of G3 Holistic, which also had dispensaries in Colton and Moreno Valley, pleaded not guilty Monday to drug trafficking charges in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. They were arrested June 14.
“The action of last week was strictly on the federal government’s own accord,” Dunn said. “We didn’t reach out to them. We didn’t do anything with them.”
Diamond said he believed the indictment was retaliation for the dispensary winning an eviction case on May 24 against its Upland landlord in West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga.
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency forced the dispensary’s landlord, Magna & Magna, to file the lawsuit and “much to everyone’s shock we won the eviction case,” Diamond said.
The court victory allowed the dispensary to continue operating in the 1700 block of West Foothill Boulevard.
Upland’s interim City Attorney Jimmy Gutierrez said he read Diamond’s remarks but did not know if there was any truth to them.
“I think it’s easy to point the finger at someone else,” Gutierrez said.
The state Supreme Court in January said it would hear G3 Hoslistic’s challenge against Upland’s zoning ordinance that bans medical marijuana dispensaries, but even that case hasn’t escaped the feds influence, Diamond said.
DEA agents raided G3 on Nov. 1 so Upland could win the state “case by using the federal government to shut down G3 Holistic and moot the case.
“I think it’s blatant discrimination.
“What is the policy of the federal government? We can’t figure out if the local feds are acting on their own or getting direction from somebody.”
Dunn says that somebody is not the city.
“While we did ask for their help in the past, the action of last week had nothing to do with Upland,” Dunn said.
“We’ve been battling them in court. Obviously, we are now, probably just like G3, waiting for the California Supreme Court to take on the issue, but we haven’t done anything other than sit and wait.”
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, also strongly denied Diamond’s claims.
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