Zonka Bar Bust: Arizona's Anti-Pot Zealots Throw Medical-Marijuana Entrepreneurs in Jail

Categories: Medical Weed

martin chris zonka.JPG
Chris Lee Martin, among those arrested last week, was the chef who supervised the cooking of Zonka bars and candies, authorities say.

Chris Martin had an idea for a business in Arizona, where voters passed a law that legalizes medical-marijuana "edibles" under certain conditions.

Last year, the Zonka Bar was born: available in flavors including chocolate and sugar-free peanut butter, and infused with marijuana extract. Like other edibles, it was perfect for a medical-marijuana patient who didn't want to smoke. Assuming it wasn't adulterated with anything but marijuana, the Zonka Bar was less harmful than a four-pack of wine coolers.

But Martin and his associates didn't follow all of the rules under the 2010 law, authorities say.

Had they contracted with a so-far-nonexistent state-authorized dispensary to distribute the Zonka Bars, their actions would have been legal.

Instead, these entrepreneurs are facing multiple felony charges and the possiblity of years in prison.

See Also: Tom Horne and Bill Montgomery Make Their Move to Nix Arizona's Medical Marijuana Law

See Also: Allan Sobol: Arizona's Medical-Pot Martyr?

martin james and goodrich zonka.JPG
Three others were arrested in the Zonka bust, but cops say even more arrests or charges could be coming as their investigation continues.

In seemingly schizophrenic Arizona, 841,346 voters passed a liberal law that legalizes marijuana for those with certain medical ailments, but the state is governed by rabid conservatives who are some of the law's most vocal opponents.

Local law enforcement officials could be taking a different approach to this very political issue. They could exercise reasonable discretion, but they've chosen to side with the prohibitionists.

State law is part of the problem. Not the new law, but the old, obsolete law -- the one that says possession of a single grain of marijuana is a felony and that selling, growing or transporting marijuana or the "narcotic" of "cannabis" are serious felonies. Cops love making felony arrests -- and usually, it's a good thing. Not in this case, though.

The new and old laws are creating unjust and drastic differences in the way law enforcement deals with marijuana. It's like if lengthy prison sentence were threatened for selling alcohol without a license or carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, (before the new law that says you don't even need a permit to carry a concealed weapon).

For the most part, police are alleging that Martin and his associates sold a product labeled as medical marijuana to various compassion clubs, which sold them to medical-marijuana patients.

Without doubt, this has something do with the burgeoning medical-marijuana industry authorized by the 2010 law. Law enforcement officials aren't seeing it that way, though.

A Yavapai County task force that calls itself PANT (Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking) led a lengthy and expensive investigation into Zonka bars. A September 17 news release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office about the bust is entitled: "P.A.N.T. takes out Drug Sales Syndicate -- Items Sold Included Cannabis Candy and Treats."

Four people have been arrested so far: Christopher Lee Martin, 37, and Andrea Lyn Martin, 33, of Prescott, Todd James, 40, and Christopher Goodrich, 39, both of Phoenix. Other people may be arrested or charged as the investigation continues, cops say.

Raids took place on September 12 and 13 at:

* A commercial kitchen at 1732 West Bell in Phoenix

* The Joint ReLeaf Compassion Club, 3143 East Roosevelt; AZ CPC, 1833 East Indian School Road; and Green Cross, 1000 East Indian School Road, and the home of Todd James, all in Phoenix.

* And in Prescott, The Green Cross, 919 12th Place #14, and Hippie Village Emporium, 635 Walnut Road.

Authorities seized 20 pounds of marijuana, "hundreds" of Zonka bars and other candies made by the company and about $70,000 in cash. Numerous firearms also were recovered (though that would be the case with a raid of many homes in Arizona.)

Martin was the leader and master chef who created the line of candy bars and other products, police allege.

Authorities say the investigation began with a tip to Silent Witness, plus other citizen complaints.

But it's not like the Zonka company was skulking around a street corner or attending meetings with Los Zetas. They've been advertising on the Internet since April. Their website still was up today, advertising pot-infused candy bars, lollipops, and ice cream. The site has rolling banners that warn against use by children and recommend getting the advice of a doctor.



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
166 comments
jetdoc1
jetdoc1

The AZ GOP continues to try to snuff out Medical Marijuana. However they DO so at their own PERIL. THIS issue could IMPLODE the AZ GOP cuz they're telling over 41% of their constituents to FUCK OFF. Go forward VERY cautiously!

ssn0
ssn0

There are many pro-marijuana conservatives. Generalizations are tiring and boring.

rodat6
rodat6

Arizona is becoming known in much of the world as a Fascist State.  Seems to fit.

hailelovesyhu
hailelovesyhu

Seriously. You guys are arguing about stupid stuff. Nobody cares. Big deal they got arrested, it's over. And illegal.

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

Please, people who are interested in legalization - please read up on the Opium Wars between Britain and China to get an SMALL idea of what kind of international business conglomerate the "recreational" drug business has been for over 300 years in this world.  For all you fans of secret conspiracies, the recreational drug business is far more insidious than any masons or illumaniti.  More money involved, more control over the powers of government, more intrigue and more human suffering.  We need to boycott recreational drugs sold on the illegal market - it's in our hands - we can stop it.  Grow your own.  Trade with friends, But don't buy it from a dealer.  You're just feeding the beast!  Please stop. 

azkatz13
azkatz13

You don't need to get "high" to receive benefit either.  Juicing has no psychoactive effect and has 60 X's more healing benefit than smoking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-iU9QN0fEM

Grow the cancer cure in your backyard for free!!

Why pay pharmaceutical manufacturers to make you more sick?

 

azkatz13
azkatz13

my boyfriend is a retired doctor, Olympic level doc - served as one of the Olympic Doc's when it was in Atlanta, worked on some of our top athletes, was written about in several sport magazines as a secret weapon for triathletes, also became a cannabis patient due to a degenerative ligament illness he was diagnosed with.  Started juicing/eating cannabis on a daily basis after watching What if Cannabis Cured Cancer (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/what-if-cannabis-cured-cancer/) and heard the India doctor say that "when cannabis cells touched cancer cells, the cancer cells committed suicide" my boyfriend, 52 years old, wanted any possible cancer in his body erradicated, so he has been eating cannabis daily for the past 8 months now and has lost over 50 lbs not changing anything else in his diet. 

azkatz13
azkatz13

Join NORML.org

Find a NORML meeting nearest you and network with others advocating for change.

tom10545az
tom10545az

since nothing appears on azcentral, a news report on azfamily reports, from what little was reported, a caretaker apparently was renting a industrial space to grow, and was "busted", the article title was of course "school teacher busted for selling pot"....and of course no specifics, just police mumbo-jumbo...here we go again with the "you cant sell a legal commodity, you have to give it away" BS

tom10545az
tom10545az

never ceases to amaze me how officers stand around in their uniforms, with shiny badges telling each other how great they are...

and dont even know they are blind,naked and stupid....

hey, that sounds good, can i copyright that?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Once again, most BS and manipulation of the law by the power holders in our wonderful state.

 

Wake up people! These people and the people who are in the legislature in this state are NOT YOUR FRIENDS!

 

When elected officials go against the will of the voter, it's time for the voter to use the POWER they have and VOTE THEM OUT IN NOV!

 

Jan, Joe, BooBoo and the rest of the officials that are not following the will of the voter need to be voted out immediately.

 

It's time to remove them from the troff of public payment since they are not doing what they are being paid for.

Claire Voyant
Claire Voyant

What a huge crock pot of BULLSHIT! Like there's not OTHER things that you fucking cops should be doing?!?!?! What a great use for taxes!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@jetdoc1 ... wake up stoner, this story is 2 years old.


And regular pot smokers comprise only around 10% of the general population, so no politician needs to pander to them, as many of them forget or are too lazy to vote anyway.


rodat6
rodat6

@hailelovesyhu Arizona is becoming known throughout the world as a Fascist State.  They are earning the title.  

RetiredArmy
RetiredArmy

 @azkatz13 

Thanks for the link. Excellent source of real scientific information.

azkatz13
azkatz13

why a plant that has done so much to heal so many people has the most arrests of all the harmful drugs we have available today....

 

why aren't pharmaceutical drug manufacturers getting arrested??

thousands die daily from prescription drugs yet - the plant that has never killed a single person has the most arrests of any offence - makes no sense to me and I suffered brain damage from 3 broken bones in my skull because of PTSD my army infantry sniper ex husband gave me.  How someone suffering brain damage can see clearly that our laws are made to create criminals and the general public allows this to happen is beyond me!!!

marcy
marcy

 @Disappointed "there is a copyright/tm next to the name"

 

You can't copyright a name so there are two possibilities:

1) They are claiming a copyright which doesn't exist

2) You are seeing things

 

You don't obtain a trademark by putting "tm" next to a name, you obtain a trademark by registering it at the US Patent and Trademark Office, http://www.uspto.gov

 

You file an application for trademark with the USPTO and *if* the USPTO raises no objections they publish the mark in the Official Gazette and other parties, such as the persons who own the rights to the Wonka trademark, can file an objection to registration.

 

Since there is no trademark on file with the USPTO it is false to claim they have a trademark, regardless of what you imagine seeing and regardless of what they falsely claim on their packaging if they do put the letters "tm" after the name.

 

They are not a dispensary, they were not chosen in the lottery, they have no right to sell pot infused goods under the voter initiative, period.

 

It is also false to say that "everyone was raided".  

 

But everyone could be raided because pot possession is still criminal under federal law.

marcy
marcy

 @tom10545az Pot isn't legal honey.

 

Arizona law does allow certain persons to possess it but as per the voter initiative not everyone can sell it.  

 

Liquor is legal and not everyone call sell that either.  You need a license and licenses are limited.

patricnani
patricnani

 @tom10545az what Barry said I cant believe that you able to get paid $9372 in a few weeks on the computer. did you read this(Click on menu Home)   goo.gl/gYbaW

marcy
marcy

 @Disappointed HA affiliated motorcycle gang.  

 

Did I say all motorcycle clubs are bad or all people who are members of motorcycle clubs are bad people?  You seem to have a serious problem embellishing what I write.

 

I'm not making the world a shitty place at all.

 

But I'm also not trying to make a bundle of money selling illegal pot infused cookies.  I also don't make moonshine and sell it to the neighbors or but smokes on the res and try to sell them at a smoke shop off the res.

 

Get a license, pay your taxes, do it right.  Is that all so hard to understand?

 

Either that or just stop pretending to be legit and go back to cooking crank and selling your old lady on the street.

marcy
marcy

 @Flyer9753 Get a clue sweetie, Jan Brewer isn't up for re-election in November and is term limited in any case.

 

Not that the Brewski has anything to do with this case.  The voters passed an initiative, the initiative provides a specific means by which pot "medicine" can be sold, it doesn't permit someone to simply start backing pot cookies and selling them.

 

These goofs weren't in compliance with any aspect of the voter approved initiative.

RetiredArmy
RetiredArmy

 @azkatz13 

 

It's all about the money. This state (country) is controlled by corporate lobbyist and their pay masters. They do not want the competition from hemp or medical cannabis. It only takes one acre of hemp to produce what four acres of woods produces in pulp for paper production. It also would compete with nylon as a renewable resource replacement. The cotton industry doesn't like it because it would be a direct competitor. The pharmaceutical industry does not want competition from a medicine you can grow yourself or get from a mom and pop store. Then of course there is the military/law enforcement/prison industry that is making lots of money with prohibition. Just look at the haul Phoenix PD made in one day, $70,000 stolen from Zonka and the compassion clubs.

 

I could go on but I think you get the idea. Our democracy is being circumvented by the monied interest that are profiting from the why things are. They don't care how many suffer or die in their pursuit of profits.

SeedyWard
SeedyWard

 @marcy  @Disappointed Everyone could be raided, by the feds. Nobody delegated the local yokels to enforce the federal cannabis laws. So if you're all hot & bothered about the federal CSA, call the DEA (bastards). Chance of getting a call back answer before November, though = slim. After November they'll have other fish to fry: watch Colorado and maybe Washington go legal and all the cops crap their britches.

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @marcy  @Disappointed  How many times now have you referred back to the Federal Law now?  Too numerous to count...  We're NOT talking about Federal law, we're talking Prop. 203....  STATE law!

tom10545az
tom10545az

 @marcy 

my, my are we stoned or what,

your first line states pot isnt legal,(that means illegal for everyone)

but your second sentance states it is? which is it?

and please dont call me bee crap, because that is what honey really is

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @marcy  @Disappointed You seem to have a BRAINFART everytime you write something.  You referred to them as a "Motorcycle Gang in a warehouse cooking up dope cookies."  Now if you can''t see what you said, then you're dumber than I EVER gave you credit for.

azkatz13
azkatz13

 @marcy  @Flyer9753 Marcy, medibles are a safe way of ingesting without smoking - many patients can tolerate eating and can't smoke.  Juicing has 60 X's more healing benefit and NO psychoactive effect!!  The more sick a patient is the more cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc) the patient should be consuming.  It was documented in my Veteran Administration medical records that cannabis is the reason I was taken off all the psychotropic, mind altering drugs the military prescribed me throughout my career and made me 70% disabled due to the harmful side effects I experienced from the drugs.  A plant has healed me naturally and without any harmful side effects.  I juice about a pound a week and I'm healthier now than when I joined at 18 years old (I just turned 44 yrs old!!).  Because I'm on a schedule one narcotic and have difficulty getting a job I deserved my 70% disability check but honestly I don't see why we pay people not to work (welfare) and to stay sick and/or put people in jail for a harmless plant (over 700,000 people a year for mere possession alone at $50,000 each).  Until we start asking more questions and demanding our politicians actually do their job in working FOR the people we will continue to have our rights taken away and pay taxes to support stupidity.

 

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @marcy  @Flyer9753 Not that Jan has ANYTHING to DO with this case?  You cannot be that IGNORANT!  It's IMPOSSIBLE!

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @marcy  @Flyer9753 But the problem with that is....  According to your insinuations.  It seems that you don't wish for ANYONE to be in compliance with the law EVER.  You want it NIXED plain and simple!  In that way you're exactly like Carolyn Short, Tom Horne, Jan Brewer and Bill Montgomery to mention just a FEW!  You're attitudes and insinuations show you to be in the same camp as they are, that no matter WHO complies with the law, YOU don't want it to come into effect in the first place.  If Brewer and Horne would quit allowing UNELECTED citizens, to SPEND taxpayer dollars trying to defeat this LAW!  In which they'll NEVER pull it off to begin with...  If Brewer and Horne would QUIT moving the bar, every time we REACH the latest one, to keep from opening Dispensaries. If they would just IMPLEMENT the law as it IS, and WORK WITH the Medical Marijuana Community to make it WORKABLE for EVERYONE, what you see now, is exactly what we're going to have.  Until the NEOCONS who run this state, are replaced with REAL Conservatives, this is what we're going to HAVE!  SAD ISN'T IT?

tom10545az
tom10545az

 @marcy  @Flyer9753 

well since you are so well informed, exactly what part of the initiative are they in violation of? and i dont mean your "translation", the initiative, word for word that exempts. you have now went from candy, to cookies.

why dont you quote for us the "specific means by which pot can be sold? or are you just stating so/

RetiredArmy
RetiredArmy

 @azkatz13 

 

Ya, jailhouse Jan and her pimp Chuck. Serving themselves at the expense of Arizona's citizens, especially our children. What a pair.

azkatz13
azkatz13

 @RetiredArmy

 we know one of the reasons why:

http://ndn.org/blog/2010/09/az-governor-jan-brewer-awarded-contracts-private-prisons-who-benifited-sb1070

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/02/jan-brewer-arizona-govern_2_n_703251.html

http://tucsoncitizen.com/cell-out-arizona/tag/jan-brewer/

"Even Linda Ronstadt took a shot at the for-profit prison industry on CNN’s Situation Room Friday. In a scathing rebuke of Gov. Brewer’s stance on immigration, Ronstadt connected the dots for viewers on the influence of the for-profit prison industry, which manages immigrant detention centers as well as prisons. Ronstadt stated, “…let’s look at the money for a minute. What Arizona is spending an awful lot of money on is private prisons. And Chuck Coughlin and Paul [Senseman]…are two of her top advisers. They are both lobbyists for the Correction Corporation of America, which is the biggest — one of the prison giants, private prison giants in the country.” At this point she was cut off by the host. Go figure."

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2010-07-29/news/governor-jan-brewer-s-cca-ties-burn-like-neon-and-news-for-liberals-j-t-ready-s-still-a-neo-nazi/

"So CCA stands to profit from SB 1070, and as recent reports from the investigative magazine In These Times and Phoenix's CBS 5 (KPHO) indicate, Brewer's relationship to CCA runs far deeper than just the political contributions mentioned above." 

 

Profit from prisons - thats why our politicians make laws that create criminals!!!  MORE one the way with our NDAA!!

 

Time we vote ALL profiteers out!!! 

azkatz13
azkatz13

 @jetdoc1  @marcy  @Disappointed

 especially when federal agencies are not doing the arrests!!

our local politicians who have family money invested in the prison systems are forcing the arrests... not FEDERAL!!!

WE voted these people in office though!!

 

WE need to vote them out!!

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @marcy  @Disappointed  @marcyaz   I hate to inform you this, but the Patent/Trademark website is NOT in "Real Time", and to THINK it even MAY be, is naive'

marcy
marcy

 @Disappointed  @jetdoc1  @marcyaz You can't copyright a name honey.

 

Here is a link to their website, there is a picture of a Zonka bar, there is nothing after the name.

http://zonka.co/

 

But if you are talking about trademarks, which is completely different from copyrights, they don't have one.  You don't obtain a trademark by putting something after a name, you have to obtain a trademark registration from the USPTO.

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @marcy  @marcyaz  @Disappointed So.... THAT'S your ONLY problem with the MMJ program here or is it the LATEST excuse?  If that's your ONLY objection, then I'll GIVE it to you!  Now you have NO LEG to stand on, since I capitulated to your demands.  $20 says SHE AIN'T THROUGH!

marcy
marcy

 @jetdoc1  @marcyaz  @Disappointed Keep getting bogged down in irrelevancies honey and ignore the facts:

 

1) They are in violation of copyright law

2) They aren't complying with the pot initiative

 

Follow the law, get a license, pay your taxes, sell all the pot brownies you want legally.

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @marcyaz  @marcy  @Disappointed  You IMPLIED exactly what I'm SAYING you did.  I know what it was about!  You're correct.... There's NOTHING inconsistent with your STUPIDITY and IGNORANCE!

marcyaz
marcyaz

 @jetdoc1  @marcy  @Disappointed Wow, are multiple discussions too difficult for you to follow?

 

Not all motorcycle clubs re gangs, like I said.

 

Your quote was from a different discussion of the law regarding tipsters with an example.

 

That not all motorcycle clubs are angs doesn't mean some aren't.

 

Nothing inconsistent. 

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @marcy  @azkatz13  @Flyer9753  Tell the 1.3 MILLION people being held for in Prison NOW, for "Non-violent Drug offenses"  Non-violent drug offenders represent 85% of our Prison population NOW! (and that's a VERY conservative estimate...  studies have shown that number to be as high as 92%)  Ask yourself, if we shouldn't REHAB the offender where a YEAR worth of in-house drug rehab costs about $22,000/yr., instead of the $50,000+/yr .  If we'd do THAT, then we wouldn't NEED the "For PROFIT Private-Prisons" that our "pot politicians" are FOREHEAD deep in! 

savatage69
savatage69

Well, little lady, methinks you should read the law again. They *can* be remunerated for the real cost of producing the medicine. You seem to have this thing with having to always be right (Lord help your significant other) so you really should appear to know what you're talking about. You ain't looking like that at the moment, honey sweetie.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

 @tom10545az  @marcy She won't.

 

I linked her a copy of the law and she can't even be bothered to read it to show me where it says edibles are not allowed, according to her that is

tom10545az
tom10545az

 @marcy 

go back and read the law you quote from...i can be reimbursed for growing expenses, that means i can sell it to others...

ya know, just like farming....

and if it is not, please quote from the law you are commenting on

marcy
marcy

 @jetdoc1  @azkatz13  @Flyer9753 Most simple pot possession charges don't result locking people up for a year.

 

But this isn't a discussion of the reasonableness of pot laws, it's about some clowns that decided they didn't need to comply with the Arizona voter approved law and decided to just sell pot outside the law.  That's still criminal, but very profitable BECAUSE it is criminal.

 

If you want to profit from crime, don't whine when you are caught that it shouldn't be a crime.  Change the law.

 

Of course if you do there will be a lot of competition and it won't be as profitable.

marcy
marcy

I'm not objecting to edibles.  I'm objecting to people who are trying to cheat by not complying with the methods outlined in the voter initiative for selling pot.

 

I'm glad to see your health has recovered, until dispensaries are licensed you can grow your own and give it to other card holders as well.  What you can't do is back pot brownies and sell them.

jetdoc1
jetdoc1

 @azkatz13  @marcy  @Flyer9753  Last year 858,000 arrests across the NATION for "Simple Possession".  That's jailing A LOT of productive Tax payers, only to pay $50,000/yr to HOUSE them all for SIMPLE POSSESSION?

tom10545az
tom10545az

 @marcy  @Flyer9753 

hahaha...30,000 card holders are buying/selling pot, edibles and clones in parking lots(public places) all over the valley....and the last time i checked. nobody has died from "tainted" brownies", also because all of those "fear mongering" germs are killed when the brownies are baked.

 

lets see now, brownie mix, cannabutter...eggs...water...bake...how evil can it be?

oh, i know, more fear tatics...somebody might poop in the brownie mix?

marcy
marcy

 @tom10545az  @Flyer9753 I "have now went from candy to cookies".

Whether it is candy or cookies or fudge, they don't have a dispensary license and therefore are prohibited under Arizona law from selling their pot infused goodies.

 

Under Arizona law, pot can be sold by a licensed pot dispensary to qualified individuals in qualified amounts.

 

They aren't in violation of the initiative, they are in violation of existing Arizona state law that prohibits the possession or sale of marijuana.  The voter initiative doesn't exempt them because they aren't a licensed dispensary.

 

 

 

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...