Emeryville pays $15K to medical marijuana user

Henry,

  I find this theft of police property interesting. Just as a casual observer, it seems to me that authorities routinely lose, by one means or another, evidence and property belonging to defendants even more frequently than normal government incompetence would suggest. Do you know if anyone has looked into how frequently this occurs, how aggressively such cases are investigated by the police, whether better security measures or procedures tend to be implemented following these alleged thefts and losses, etc. When police and other agencies are forced to compensate people for the losses, is anyone held individually accountable, or do taxpayers just foot the bill? If the latter, are there any incentives for improvement? This subject is just crying out for an investigative report.

Sincerely,
      <<< starchild >>>
Outreach Director, Libertarian Party of San Francisco
      (415) 621-7932

Emeryville pays $15K to medical marijuana user

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

(04-11) 15:50 PDT EMERYVILLE -- The city of Emeryville has paid $15,000
to a medical marijuana user who was busted for growing pot, settling a
lawsuit that accused police of refusing to return his seized plants,
some of which were stolen by thieves, authorities said today.

In December 2003, Emeryville police seized 30 full-grown marijuana
plants and equipment that included grow lamps, air filters, timers and
pumps, records show.

Criminal charges were dropped against Blair, who uses marijuana to
alleviate symptoms from a neck injury.

Emeryville officials said thieves broke into the city's Public Works
storage building on Horton Street in January or February 2004, cutting
off locks from cages and making off with $35,000 in evidence from a
number of cases, including some of Blair's property.

James Blair of Emeryville had said he found it ironic that the same
plants that had been taken away from him, a legal user of the drug, a
year ago could have fallen into the wrong hands.