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Southern California pot church properties raided

September 15, 2018 GMT

JURUPA VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Southern California authorities say they seized more than 100 pounds of marijuana and hundreds of plants from buildings owned by a church that considers pot a religious sacrament.

The Riverside County district attorney’s office says search warrants were served Friday at the buildings in Jurupa (Huh-ROO’-puh) Valley operated by the Vault Church of Open Faith. Authorities contend the businesses are illegal marijuana dispensaries.

No arrests were made but authorities say they seized at least $75,000 in cash.

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that about 20 members of the church protested during the raids. Some held signs saying “Cannabis is blessed.”

Church attorney Matthew Pappas tells KABC-TV that church members are being persecuted and plan on taking legal action against the county.