Charges dismissed against “Weed Country” star

Charges dismissed against “Weed Country” star

Congatrulations to Matt Shotwell and his attorney, Omar
Figueroa of the NORML legal committee, for checkmating Vallejo’s
attack on medical cannabis. – D.Gieringer, Cal NORML

http://ibvallejo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1644&Itemid=1

From: Paul Armentano
Date: March 21, 2013 2:38:07 PM PDT

Cases have now been dismissed in every dispensary raid brought by
VPD in their 2012 sweep. That concludes our game. Thanks for
playing. [ And thanks to Vallejo taxpayers for paying – DG]

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/news/ci_22841368/charges-dismissed-against-vallejo-pot-dispensary-operator-star

Charges dismissed against Vallejo pot dispensary operator, star of
‘Weed Country’
By Jessica A. York/Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 03/21/2013 01:27:01 PM PDT

Year-old criminal charges were dismissed Thursday against Matt
Shotwell, a one-time operator of one of Vallejo’s largest medical
marijuana dispensaries.

Since February 2012, when the Vallejo Police Department’s series of
raids on medical marijuana dispensaries launched with Shotwell’s
arrest at Greenwell Cooperative dispensary, no operators have been
convicted.

„Given the facts of this case … the people feel they cannot prove
this case beyond a reasonable doubt,‰ Deputy District Attorney Jack
Harris told Solano County Superior Court Judge Allan Carter. Carter’s
confirmation of the dismissal was met with applause from a small
courtroom crowd of Shotwell supporters.

At least six dispensaries were raided and shut down, some several
times, during the police stings last year. Cases relating to all six
of those dispensaries have been dismissed since last summer.
Similarly, a Fairfield dispensary case was dismissed this month, and a
Vacaville dispensary operator was acquitted last April.

Shotwell, the 32-year-old star of the six-episode Discovery Channel
reality show „Weed Country,‰ was arrested and charged with three
violations of state law concerning the transportation, distribution or
possession of narcotics. He also was charged with two counts of
marijuana cultivation, and one count each of possessing marijuana for
sale and maintaining a site for marijuana distribution. His arrest
came just weeks before a voter-approved Vallejo tax and fee on
medical marijuana dispensary operators kicked in, on March 1, 2012.

Shotwell, with tears in his eyes Thursday, said he plans to take time
to figure out his next steps, following his case’s resolution. He
later added that he is facing significant debt with his home mortgage,
lawyer’s bills and school loans.

In addition to the Greenwell Dispensary seizures, police also
confiscated hundreds of marijuana plants, Shotwell’s registered
handgun, computers, $8,700 in cash, paraphernalia and edible products,
among other items. Shotwell said he had submitted asset forfeiture
claims early on to have his possessions returned, but they were
denied. With Thursday’s case dismissal, he and his attorney will try
again to recover whatever remains of the seized items, Shotwell said.

„I hope this gives people courage to stay in the business,‰ Shotwell
said of medical marijuana. „This is like the last nail in the coffin
for the opponents of medical marijuana in Vallejo.‰

Asked if his future plans include reopening a dispensary, Shotwell
said he would not rule out the possibility.

Starring in a television show depicting the struggle between medical
marijuana growers and law enforcement in northern California was a
risk Shotwell said he was willing to take while his case was still in
court. He did fear, however, that some would take the show as „poking‰
at them, and that he would be treated by the justice system as an
example.

„I was hoping I’d get off, that was the trend,‰ Shotwell said,
referring to the previous dismissals. „(But) there were some variables
that had me nervous.‰

Contact staff writer Jessica A. York at (707) 553-6834 or jyork@timesheraldonline.com
. Follow her on Twitter @JYVallejo
California NORML www.canorml.org
2261 Market St. #278A, SF, CA 94114
415-563-5858 / FAX 510-849-3974
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