The City of Santa Ana apparently has a very clear policy when it comes to operating a pot dispensary in the city: there is a lottery system and if a pot dispensary does not win one of the 20 spots available, they are deemed illegal. If they are operating illegally, Santa Ana police will be aggressive in their enforcement and their efforts to shut down illegal dispensaries. Some critics allege that, in at least one instance, the police have gone too far and have grossly violated the rights of people who operate pot dispensaries illegally.
In a recent lawsuit, attorneys for the Sky High Holistic marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana contend that, during a raid of the dispensary, police officers "trampled over the constitutional rights of dispensary volunteers and members by arresting members for an 'excessive' period of time, causing significant property damage, and making derogatory comments about a disabled woman" ("Santa Ana's pot shop raids, marijuana policy targeted in lawsuit"). A video of the raid has been posted on You Tube and viewed over 500, 000 times. Sky High did not have a permit and was ordered to shut down on February 26, according to multiple reports. Perhaps the police were simply adhering to the law and legally shutting down the dispensary. However, perhaps there was a way of enforcing the law that could have avoided a public embarrassment and lawsuit.