"I Hate the Government," says Aaron Ballenger, singer/guitarist with Buddah Grinder. Ballenger worked at the OBD (Ocean Beach Dispensary) until July 6, when it was raided for dispensing medical marijuana.
"I'm 21 years old, and now I'm a felon," says Ballenger, whose sentencing date is in December. "I had to plead guilty. If I didn't, I would have had to come up with thousands of dollars to fight the government in court."
Ballenger started working at OBD last fall.
"I wanted to work there because it was air-conditioned, it paid decently, and it was near my house. Plus, I was working for a cause that supported the revolution of decriminalizing marijuana for medical purposes.... Dispensaries are very necessary. You need professionals like me who can deliver medical marijuana in a safe and reliable environment."
Jason Kaufman operated OBD, which was located near the corner of Voltaire Street and Catalina Boulevard. He says he will reopen next month and sell clothing and vinyl records.
"I'll have to alter the name because we were a nonprofit," says Kaufman. "We want to cater to DJs. We want to carry pro audio equipment. We still have a lot to resolve [following the raid]. We have a lot of bills....
"In Northern California they would have revoked your business license. They would have said, 'We don't want you here, please shut down.' Here they used some of the best cops in San Diego that were cross-deputized as DEA agents and raided us. Channel 10 showed up ten minutes later. How can you fight that?"
Buddah Grinder appears Wednesday at Dream Street.