James Slatic was never charged with a crime, but he now has to go to court to get his legal business, his inventory and his $324,000 in cash back from the San Diego County district attorney’s office.
To make matters worse, 35 employees at Slatic’s company, Med-West Distribution, lost their jobs, their health insurance and their retirement accounts due to the seizure.
“It’s the dirty little secret of the American justice system,” Slatic told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “They can come in and take all your money and property just on the say-so of a police officer. Once they do that, you have to go to court and prove why your money is not guilty.”
Med-West, a medical marijuana business, paid federal and state taxes and was licensed by San Diego County to distribute marijuana and cannabis products. Medicinal marijuana is legal in California. The company even had a website. But in January, San Diego police and agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency raided the business and seized everything, even though it did not charge anyone. The district attorney then used asset forfeiture to seize the bank accounts of Slatic, his wife and their two teenage daughters.