“This is a Constitutional battle, and we’re going to defend our rights,” says Aaron Sandusky, the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Upland, California who now faces federal drug trafficking charges even though he was operating within California state law.
Reason.tv first profiled Sandusky in late 2011 in the midst of a federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries across California, which occurred despite repeated promises from the Obama administration to lay off operators compliant with state law (Incidentally, the city of Upland, which initiated the legal action against G3, admitted in court that Sandusky was operating within state law). During the production of that video, Sandusky’s storefront and grow house were raided, his assets seized and his product destroyed. But Sandusky was undeterred and joined a lawsuit with several other dispensary owners, challenging the right of city governments to outright ban dispensaries. After a favorable ruling from an appellate court, Sandusky re-opened, and the city of Upland was powerless to stop him. But the Feds were not happy with this outcome.
Sandusky was arrested and charged with six counts of drug trafficking, some of which could carry a life sentence. He’s spent the last seven weeks in a county prison, just awaiting a bond hearing. He finally was granted bail last Friday and is now out on house arrest, where he awaits an October trial to decide his fate. He agreed to sit down with Reason.tv for an interview to discuss his case, the state of medical marijuana in this country, and why this is a cause for which he’s willing to risk it all.
“If I have to go to jail for 20 years defending this, then so be it,” says Sandusky.
About 6 minutes
Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Tracy Oppenheimer.
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