Photo: Image of drug evidence
In spite of the ever-widening legal acceptance of marijuana use and sales nationwide—no doubt aided and abetted by the pop-culture phenomenon of the “Potluck Dinner Party” television show starring the unlikely combo of Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart, each renowned felons in their own right—California’s laws regarding cannabis cultivation, processing, distribution, and sales are quite specific in one very particular aspect: you need to be licensed and pay for the privilege of dealing in “weed” at any level.
Perhaps 24-year-old Santa Maria resident Apolinar Ordaz Soriano had been watching reruns of the Snoop-Martha debacle and in the spirit of “everybody’s doing it” thought he could simply join the party by engaging in unlicensed cannabis sales without any legal consequence. If that was his train of thought, it was derailed on the morning of January 25th when detectives attached to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Cannabis Compliance Team showed up on his doorstep with a search warrant in hand.
According to SBSD Public Information Officer Raquel Zick, the product of that search warrant was “90 pound of cannabis flower, a non-serialized AR-015 rifle, and over $300,000 in U.S. currency.” Apparently unable to convince the cops that the cash was merely savings from his recycling efforts, Soriano was promptly handcuffed and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail.
Once given the traditionally warm reception by County Jail Custody Staff, Soriano was booked on charges of sales and transportation of cannabis without a license, conspiracy, possession of cannabis for sale, and illegal cannabis sales. He remains in jail with pending firearms charges on $20,000 bail.