SLO County settles pot lawsuit for $20,000

A Los Osos woman has received $20,000 from the county after her medical marijuana was improperly destroyed by the Sheriff’s Department, her attorney said Tuesday.

San Luis Obispo lawyer Louis Koory said that his client, Kimberley Anne Marshall, 46, of Los Osos, filed a claim against the county after deputy sheriffs searched her home based on a probation search for her son.

Koory stated that deputies located the 18-month supply of marijuana in a locked closet and seized it; they later destroyed it after the District Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute the case.

Marshall suffers from hepatitis, and back and lumbar injuries, Koory said. She’s qualified by state law to have up to six pounds of medical cannabis, he said.

The settlement amount represents the dollar amount for the roughly six pounds of medical marijuana that his client had, Koory said.

The sheriff received an order from Superior Court Judge Dodie Harman to destroy the cannabis, but Koory said Marshall had a constitutional right to recover her property.

Federal law prohibits possession of marijuana, while state law allows it for qualified recipients who use it for medical purposes.

“The sheriff destroyed the property while aware that no criminal charges would be filed and that (Marshall) had a physician’s recommendation for medical cannabis,” Koory wrote.

The Sheriff’s Department has yet to review the settlement offer and has asked for a review of the case, said Rob Bryn, the department’s public information representative.

Even so, the $20,000 was paid to Marshall on Monday, Koory said.