Fresno Marijuana Dispensary Defiantly Re-Opens

FRESNO, Calif.

/*Rick Morse*/ was held in contempt of court, and then reopened his business, rather than accept the punishment.

The open sign is flashing red and purple again at Med-Mar in the Tower District, despite its owner's conviction.

In court, Morse admitted to violating a restraining order banning pot dispensaries from doing business in Fresno.

Judge Donald Franson, Jr., sentenced him to 25 days in jail, but said Morse could avoid jail by doing 100 hours of community service and keeping his dispensary closed. Two hours later, Morse opened for business.

Action News asked him "Are you not inviting trouble, though? You had the chance to walk away and not spend any time in jail."

"Walk away from what? My life?" Morse replied. "I put my life into this. There are patients who depend on this."

While we interviewed Morse, a customer walked in and out. The man told Action News he bought medical marijuana and he bought from Med-Mar because he knew about their legal fight.

"It's in my neighborhood," said the man who identified himself as Jesse. "It's local. And those guys had the courage to stand up to what I feel they're getting bullied."

Morse served two days in jail in February and the city attorney's office says there will be a punishment for his new defiance.

"We could go back to court, there could be police action, arrest, things like that," said deputy city attorney Michael Flores.

Fresno Police say they're not planning to arrest Morse any time soon, but they have their eyes on him. So for now, Morse is still open for business.

Morse even spent Friday afternoon strumming his guitar on Olive Ave., but he fully expects to be arrested soon. At that point, he'll take his case to the state Supreme Court.

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