Valerie Okun: SoCal Medical Marijuana Patient To Get Weed Back From Ariz. Cops
Valerie Ann Okun, a Southern California woman, is getting her pot back from the Arizona cops who seized it.
But now the weed is nearly two years old. Bummer.
Okun seems to be the winner in a case that started in 2011 when cops found cannabis on her when she stopped her vehicle at a checkpoint in Yuma, Arizona:
An Arizona state appeals court ruled yesterday that Okun, who's from the North County San Diego beach community of Encinitas, could indeed have her bud back.
Not only was she a verified and legal California medical marijuana patient, but the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act says such patients from other states can hold a limited amount of cannabis in Arizona.
After her arrest that fateful day, prosecutors dropped charges after learning she was a legit pot patient. Then Okun asked deputies to return her weed. No dice.
The state and the Yuma County Sheriff's Department have fought the case at every step and even now the top cop in town states that he's reviewing his options. The appeals court affirmed the ruling of a superior court in the matter.
The department argued that it can't give the weed back because it's an outlaw drug on a federal level. It has even said handing over the dope would put law enforcers in jeopardy -- that feds could prosecute them.
Appellate Judge Diane Johnsen called b.s., writing for the entire court:
... The Sheriff is immune from prosecution under the federal law for acts taken in compliance with a court order.
The discovery happened at a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8, a highway that runs east-west from Arizona to San Diego.
Authorities also found hash and drug paraphernalia in Okun's car, according to the published facts of the case: Those were not covered by the state medical marijuana law and thus did not have to be returned, the appeals court stated.
If the ruling is indeed the last chapter in this saga, Okun can look forward to smoking some of the driest, crustiest weed since the days of stems and seeds. But since she fought the good fight, it'll probably be her most satisfying toke ever.
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