Stephanie Landa Turns Herself In
In February of 2002, Stephanie Landa, Kevin Gage, and Thomas Kikuchi attended a Medical Marijuana Task Force meeting with the SFPD that included narcotics officer Sgt. Marty Halloran and Capt. Kevin Cashman, then head of the SFPD narcotics unit. They were advised that the Board of Supervisors had designated San Francisco as a medical marijuana sanctuary, and that police wouldn’t cooperate with federal law enforcement. Landa was told that as long as they used licensed electricians, kept their medical marijuana garden within city limits, and sold only to medical marijuana dispensaries, they would have no trouble. She said Cashman presented them with a handout noting that there was no medical marijuana plant limit in San Francisco. After more assurances from then-district attorney Terence Hallinan, Landa and her partners borrowed $250000, moved from Los Angeles, secured a business license, and began creating a nonprofit medical cannabis collective. In April 2002 they rented a warehouse for an indoor garden, and began growing 40 strains of cannabis to treat different conditions. “We wanted to be near them so they could protect us as promised,” Landa told us. Four months later, a group of plainclothes San Francisco police officers burst into the warehouse, threw Landa and Gage to the ground, and pointed guns at their heads.