In response to a court order, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department this afternoon returned two pounds of medicinal marijuana to a dispensary from which it was seized earlier this month.
A Sacramento Superior Court judge this morning ordered the Sheriff's Department to return the marijuana to the Common Roots Collective.
On Dec. 1, deputies accompanied code enforcement officers who executed an inspection warrant at the dispensary on 52nd Street in Sacramento, said the collective's attorney, John Fuery.
While at the collective, deputies seized 2 pounds of marijuana, citing a federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensareis, Fuery said.
Though Caifornia voters approved Proposition 215 legalizing medicinal use of marijuana, federal authorities still consider it illegal.
Fuery argued before Judge Robert Hight that deputies violated federal law by seizing property when they had an inspection warrant, not a search warrant. Hight apparently agreed, and signed an order this morning that the marijuana be returned to the 800-person collective.
"Police are giving back the marijuana this time because they committed such a grievous federal violation," Fuery said. "They did not obey search warrant law and that's federal law."
Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Jason Ramos said deputies seized the marijuana under the "plain view doctrine," not because of the inspection warrant. However, he said the department will not challenge the order.
"We'll certainly respect the court's decision to give it back," he said.
Deputies met with collective representatives this afternoon for the hand off.
"It has been returned," said Sarah Orbanosky, who assists with the collective's healing services and classes. "It's all back."