UPLAND >> A woman alleges that in shutting down a medical marijuana dispensary in January, police Chief Brian Johnson and another Upland police officer locked her and a security guard inside the pot shop for about an hour.
The move was so upsetting, she has hired an attorney and is considering suing.
“What they did was not right,” said Helen Nguyen, who worked as a volunteer at the now-closed Secret Stash dispensary on North Second Avenue. “Maybe Upland doesn’t want medical marijuana there and they wanted to scare us.”
Medicinal marijuana dispensaries are banned from operating in the city through a city ordinance. In January, Upland police shut down four illegal medical marijuana dispensaries over two days, which may have included Secret Stash. Although police did not name the dispensaries it closed, officials at the time said three of them were inside the same strip mall on Second Avenue.
Nguyen, a 33-year-old Huntington Beach resident, said she was on duty the afternoon of Jan. 19 when two Upland officers entered through the front door and spoke with a security guard standing behind a small window in the lobby.
“Our security guard told me the Upland Police Department wants us to close,” Nguyen said, adding that she complied.
Nguyen said three other volunteers, along with about a half-dozen clients, left while she and the security guard finished some last-minute tasks in back of the dispensary.
That’s when someone who appeared to be Johnson allegedly latched bolt locks at the top and bottom of the front door. Nguyen said that prevented them from leaving. According to surveillance video from the scene, the first officer was joined by another police officer.
Nguyen said the officers made no effort to determine if anyone was still