The cruelest irony? The building’s owner moved here from Iran to be more free and prosperous:
Anaheim small-business owner Tony Jalali fled Iran in 1978 for a better life in the land of liberty, but he soon may find his American Dream unconstitutionally taken from him by the city of Anaheim and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Southern California in a ploy that should leave most Americans shaking their heads in disgust. Jalali faces the loss of his well-maintained office building if the city and the federal government get away with an attempt to do an end-run around California laws.
Over the past few years, Jalali rented out his small office building on Ball Road to numerous businesses, including two medical marijuana dispensaries – businesses that are legal in California. Jalali felt comfortable doing this because, not only is medical marijuana legal under California law, but Anaheim itself since 2010 has hosted the world’s largest marijuana trade show in its city-owned Anaheim Convention Center (and is slated to host again in July). The federal government, right up to the president of the United States, said it had “bigger fish to fry” than to undermine state laws on medical marijuana.
The city asked government attorneys to take Jalali’s property through drug-related civil forfeiture – which allows the government to take and sell your property without ever charging you with a crime, let alone convicting you of one. To make the deal sweeter for both the city and the feds, through a program called “equitable sharing,” Anaheim and its police would collect up to 80 percent of any bounty seized, while the federal government would bank the remaining 20 percent. The property owner would be left with nothing.
Read the full story here. Civil Asset Forfeiture is truly one of the most appalling and least known ways our government screws us over.