Cannabis church sues city after police raid

SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego cannabis church that distributes marijuana for sacrament has filed a claim against the city for $1.1 million in damages after the San Diego Police Department raided their place of worship.

The church, called Sacred Source Sanctuary, held a press conference Thursday, where they argued the city is breaking their First Amendment rights and that they are a place of worship.

They say that when the San Diego police department raided their cannabis church on Feb. 1 for working as an unlicensed cannabis shop. The church has filed a claim against the city seeking $1. 1 million in damages.

“They did $75,000 worth in damage to the church and they took about 30,000 worth in inventory sacred blessed sacrament that they provide to their members,” a church leader said.

The cannabis church also says they feel targeted because giving cannabis as a form of sacrament is no different than Catholics giving wine to their parishioners, even minors. Some Catholics beg to differ.

“After it goes through the blessing that the priest gives in the persona of Jesus, the wine becomes the blood of Christ. So when you sip that wine you're not guzzling gallons of alcohol,” Alice Dickson, a Catholic parishioner told FOX 5.

The City Attorney's office said that if the claim is denied by the Department of Risk Management, then the cannabis church has grounds to move forward with a lawsuit.