Medi-pot charges dropped

Ruling in San Diego has effect on local case

The charges against former medical-marijuana dispensary operator Rick Tognoli (pictured) have been dropped based on a recent ruling in a San Diego case.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the conviction of Jovan Jackson, whose dispensary was raided in 2008. Jackson had been convicted of accepting cash from his collective’s members to keep the dispensary alive.

In a unanimous ruling the court said, “[T]he collective or cooperative association required by the act need not include active participation by all members in the cultivation process but may be limited to financial support by way of marijuana purchases from the organization.”

Tognoli’s was one of eight Butte County dispensaries raided in June 2010. His charges had included accepting money for pot. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the ruling “has made it almost impossible to prosecute dispensaries that are disguised as collectives and making supposedly no profit.”