On Monday, Jan. 30th, 2007, the California High-Way Patrol returned 32 ounces of top grade medical marijuana to a founding member of Eddy Lepp's church. The marijuana was taken the previous Friday during a traffic stop (the car had only one license plate instead of two). The CHP officer confiscated the cannabis and the driver's medical recommendation, and did not provide any receipt for the medicine or medical recommendation.
On Monday, the Church founder and the Rev. Tom Brown appeared at the CHP office and demanded the return of the seized marijuana. Rev. Brown cited recent decisions that limit the CHP's authority regarding medical cannabis seizures on state highways. He also cited the current lawsuit involving Eddy's church and a statement by Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger that the California National Guard and CHP are not allowed to violate the law regarding medical AND religious use of marijuana.
Until that point, the CHP officers had stated that they would probably never get their medicine back, if it could even be found. They tried to make it seem like it was cut and dried (as indeed the weed had been...).
But upon learning that the officers involved in the current confiscation could easily be added to the ongoing lawsuit, they promptly produced the 32 ounces of marijuana. Surprisingly, they had to weigh the pot because they hadn't done that. Yup! They supposedly were keeping the 32 ounces as "evidence", yet had not followed standard protocol for processing evidence.
In fact the weed had never even been entered as evidence, no receipt had been issued (until they returned it). So it's pretty obvious the CHP had intended to keep what they stole from a legitimate medical marijuana patient and church founder. After all, there were never any charges filed in the incident. Just a confiscation of high class weed.
This is a HUGE victory for both medical and religious use of marijuana. The CHP in this area will sure think twice about seizing marijuana from medical or religious use people!