Donations from Pot Clinic Rejected by Fresno Police

September 24, 2009 10:41:41 PM PDT
Fresno's City Manager, Andy Souza and Brandon Morse went round and round during the city council meeting. Morse: "She was told to give me back the money by the Mayor's office." Souza: "Let me..." Morse: "Excuse me sir, I still have a minute left ..." Souza: "No, you don't because you're making allegations that are wrong."Brandon and his father, Rick Morse run Medmar, a medical marijuana clinic in the Fresno's Tower District. Brandon said, "The PAL program helped me when I was younger."

Police Chief Jerry Dyer explained that a volunteer with the Police Activities League, known as P.A.L., was told to make three receipts out to Brandon Morse, the other to Medmar. Chief Dyer said, "The CSO did not know who Medmar was and afterwards looked it up on the internet."

It turns out, the city and Medmar are tangled in a major court battle. The city wants to shut down the clinic and several others. Dyer said, "We do not want to give any appearance that any of the money being given to us will influence whether or not they can remain in business and we don't want that to become an issue in Federal court."

Brandon nearly broke down in tears when he said the donations came from the heart and denies trying to influence anything. His father said, "I'm not sure it should have made a difference. We're a legitimate business in the city of Fresno."

The Morse's said they've also given to other local charities. But Chief Dyer believes accepting the money would send the wrong message.

"If you have monies being derived from medical marijuana facility being channeled into a youth organization it sends the wrong message and in mind there is a very clear conflict of interest."

The father and son said they plan to talk to P.A.L. board members in hopes of changing their minds about the donation.

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