A man recently cleared of charges related to a medical marijuana sting in 2010 is now struggling to have his property returned.
Steven Gordon, one of 12 people arrested in 2010 as part of an interagency sting operation targeting medical marijuana delivery services, is seeking a court order to have his property returned; that includes about five pounds of marijuana as well as marijuana concentrates.
In a motion filed Dec. 19 with the SLO County Superior Court, Gordon’s attorney, Louis Koory, claimed that the District Attorney’s Office “has refused to sign the stipulation to return Gordon’s property,” adding that the refusal prompted his court motion.
Gordon was one of the so-called Doobie Dozen arrested in 2010. His was among six remaining cases after all others were dismissed. But on Nov. 25, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed all charges against Gordon and the remaining defendants.
At the court hearing, Koory and Deputy District Attorney Matt Kraut agreed to keep the case on the books to finalize the return of property. Koory has since filed the motion citing worries that Gordon’s property could be destroyed or held indefinitely.
“In the absence of a court order to release the property, police could succeed in permanently seizing and withholding the defendant’s medicine—regardless of the defendant establishing lawful possession,” Koory wrote in his motion.
Gordon is seeking the return of the marijuana, documents related to his former Hopeful Remedies delivery service, about 100 patient recommendations, and about $12,000 in seized money. He is further seeking to have his bank account unfrozen. In total, he claims 28 items that have been held as evidence since his arrest.
“This is just the first step to try to even the scales of justice,” Koory told New Times.
According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran, returning Gordon’s property isn’t straightforward because county officials are being asked to turn over marijuana, which is considered contraband. Gran said he referred the issue to County Counsel.
“County Counsel could say we’re going to fight it; could say we’re going to give everything back,” Gran said.
However, even if the marijuana is returned, Gran admitted that after four years it might no longer be any good, or perhaps was destroyed. If the county decides in Gordon’s favor, he could receive monetary compensation for the marijuana.
Gran said he was unaware of similar motions from the other defendants.