Posts Tagged ‘medical marijuana raid’

Medical Marijuana Raid Preparedness Training In California

Americans for Safe Access is conducting an 11 day – 11 city tour up and down California this month which will end in San Diego on September 1. In light of the recent federal activity against medical cannabis communities across the country, now more than ever, we must join together to prepare our community for the next steps we will take to protect safe access in California.

Learn to protect your rights and the rights of others in the event you are targeted in a raid and participate in creating a strategy that will secure safe access.

Please join ASA Executive Director, Steph Sherer and ASA California Director, Don Duncan for these 2 Free Trainings in San Diego that are open to the community. Attached is a flier. Please feel free to share this with anyone who may be interested in attending.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at the training!

Eugene Davidovich
San Diego Area Liaison
Americans for Safe Access –


ASA’s upcoming Raid Training on Friday, August 19th from 1 pm to 5 pm in Room 416 at San Francisco City Hall (on Van Ness Avenue between Grove and McAllister Streets), and the Activist training on Friday, August 26th from 7 pm to 9 pm at 847 Howard Street  (between 4th and 5th Streets) in San Francisco.  Both events are free of cost and open to the public. Please feel free to share with anyone who may be interested.

Thank you.

Raudel Wilson
Community Liaison Director
Americans For Safe Access

Marijuana Eradication Effort Under Way Across 6 California Counties

A massive, six county marijuana eradication operation aimed at ridding the Mendocino National Forest of clandestine marijuana cultivation is in full swing, Mendocino County officials have confirmed.

California Department of Justice spokeswoman Michelle Gregory tells the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa that the raids have netted nearly 300,000 marijuana plants and led to 77 arrests as of Monday, according to The Press Democrat.

Citing officer safety concerns, officials declined to give details of the operation, which began early last week but which they initially attempted to keep secret.

The operation includes hundreds of law enforcement officials from local, state and federal agencies. Raids are taking place simultaneously in Mendocino, Lake, Colusa, Glenn, Tehama, and Trinity counties, counties that contain portions of the Mendocino National Forest.

Each summer law enforcement agencies eradicate millions of pot plants from California public lands, which marijuana growers favor for their remote locations and rugged terrain.

The latest raids span Mendocino, Lake, Colusa, Glenn, Tehama and Trinity counties. Hikers and ranchers report more run-ins with armed pot growers in the region.

Case Dismissed; Men Want Their Medical Marijuana Back

Guy Casey North End 420.jpg
Photo: KOMO News
All charges against Guy Casey, above,
were dismissed — but the cops still don’t want to give his medical marijuana back.

​Two operators of a Tacoma, Washington medical marijuana dispensary beat drug charges earlier this year. Now they want their cannabis back.

Guy Casey and Michael Schaef said they are legally authorized to possess the marijuana seized during a raid and that the government no longer has any interest in the pot, reports Adam Lynn at the Bellingham Herald.
They’ve asked a Pierce County Superior Court judge to return to each of them 48 ounces of harvested marijuana and 30 plants — or their equivalents in cash.
Their attorneys contend that each plant — almost certainly dead now — was worth $3,000 to $3,500.
North End Club 420.jpg
Graphic: North End Club 420
​ “Here, it is clear that Mr. Casey is entitled to a return of the property at issue,” his attorney, Aaron Pelley of Seattle, wrote in a pleading filed in Superior Court. “The case has been resolved, and the property is no longer needed as evidence.”
Deputy Prosecutor John Sheeran refused. Schaef and Casey are in violation of Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act, Sheeran claimed in a counter pleading.
Sheeran claimed the men have not proved they’re legitimate medical marijuana patients or providers, and they possessed five times more marijuana than allowed by law when they were arrested.
“A person who takes one step outside the rules set up by the Legislature loses the protections offered by the Act,” the deputy prosecutor claimed.
The two sides are scheduled to argue their case in court on August 9.
The outcome of the case could establish precedent in Washington state, where courts have yet to rule whether forfeiture laws apply to medical marijuana, Casey’s and Schaef’s attorneys wrote in their pleadings.
The two men — good friends as well as business partners — were arrested in May 2010 after agents with the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team (WestNET) raided the North End Club 420 cooperative on Oregon Avenue and Casey’s home near Olalla, Washington.
Prosecutors charged Casey with two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and one count each of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance.
Schaef was charged with three counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and one count each of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance.
Prosecutors claimed in court records that the men sold marijuana to people not authorized to have it, kept a larger supply on hand than the law allows, and charged exorbitant prices to enrich themselves.
Much of the case was based on the testimony of one confidential informant, who claimed to have witnessed such behavior.
Detectives seized 85 marijuana plants and about 11 pounds of harvested cannabis during the raid, according to Sheeran.
In February, prosecutors dismissed the case against Schaef and Casey, saying questions about the informant’s truthfulness made the prosecution “untenable.”
“The informant was the basis for this investigation and is an essential witness for the state,” Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Sievers wrote in paperwork dismissing the charges.
The following month, Casey made a motion for the return of his marijuana and other property seized during the raids. Schaef followed suit in May.
Both men said they first asked the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department, which is holding the property seized during the raids, to return their property, but were rebuffed.
The men said they and their families were treated badly by task force detectives and suffered emotional and monetary harm as a result of the investigation.
“Mr. Casey and his family, including his children, were held at gunpoint by the drug task force,” Pelley wrote in his pleading. “They were humiliated in front of neighbors, and the Sheriff’s Department issued press releases on the arrest.”
Schaef, a single parent, lost his ho0me as a result of his arrest and the financial burden the case put on him, and had to send his 17-year-old daughter to live with relatives, his attorney, Kent Underwood of Tacoma, wrote in court papers.
“His business reputation was injured by statements that he was not helping sick people but, rather, taking advantage of them,” Underwood wrote.
Sheeran, ignoring the fact that the case against the two men was dropped, claimed they were both “drug dealers” in his recent pleading, which begins, “During the months of March, April and May 2010, Guy L. Casey and Michael J. Schaef repeatedly delivered marijuana in violation of” state law.
The deputy prosecutor repeated the allegations made in the criminal case which had already been abandoned and pointed out that Casey drives a Hummer and has several active bank accounts despite reporting little to no earnings to the government.
Pelley and Underwood said their clients are legitimate medical marijuana patients and providers, and as such are protected by the Medical Use of Marijuana Act. Washington state law allows authorized medical marijuana patients to possess up to 15 plants and 24 ounces of harvested cannabis. Authorized providers can have up to 15 plants and 24 ounces, as well.
The law “specifically provides that qualifying patients and caregivers who are in possession of medical marijuana pursuant to a valid prescription … ‘shall not be penalized in any manner or denied any right or privilege’ as a result of the possession,” Pelley wrote in his pleading.
“Clearly, forfeiture of the medical marijuana and plants legally possessed cannot be considered anything other than a penalty … and that forfeiture cannot therefore be allowed under Washington law,” Pelley wrote.
Underwood wrote that while “there is no specific provision within the state statute for the return of property, not returning the property to Mr. Schaef would go against fundamental fairness.”
Sheeran, meanwhile, continues to claim that neither man has “lived up to the letter of the law” and therefore doesn’t deserve to get any of the marijuana back.
“While each (Casey and Schaef) has a doctor’s note saying he is authorized to use marijuana, it does not specify the specific condition from which he suffers,” the deputy prosecutor wrote, failing to mention that for medical privacy reasons, the law doesn’t require that information in the doctor’s note. “Defendants who fail to establish they have a ‘qualifying condition’ are not entitled to raise the medical marijuana defense.”
Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana under Washington state law include, among others, cancer, HIV, epilepsy, glaucoma, hepatitis C, and diseases that result in nausea, vomiting, seizures and muscle spasms.
If you’d like to email Deputy Prosecutor John Sheeran and tell him to give the two medical marijuana patients, Casey and Schaef, their property back, you can do so by clicking here.
North End Club 420 menu.jpg
Graphic: North End Club 420
Menu from the North End Club 420 site. Screen capture taken July 25, 2011.

Montana Cops Want Caregivers To Turn In Marijuana By July 1

Photo: Wikiality
Montana caregivers are supposed to turn over their plants to the cops by July 1.

​Montana’s medical marijuana caregivers officially have less than two weeks to turn in their cannabis plants to the police to be destroyed, but one advocate says that’s not likely to happen.

On July 1, medical marijuana providers are out of business in the state, thanks to the new law, SB 423, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, reports Matt Leach at NBC Montana. The law supposed “takes the profit out of the industry” (actually, it only drives it underground — and removes the tax benefits to local governments) and forces caregivers to turn over any marijuana they might have on hand.
It’s not gonna go down like that, according to Tayln Lang of the Montana Medical Growers Association.

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 1.00.59 PM.png
Photo: NBC Montana

Tayln Lang, Montana Medical Growers Association:
“This is a law that is basically based on fear and intimidation”

“I believe that all that cannabis that’s been produced by caregivers up until this point is going to make its way to the black market,” Lang said.
Under the old medical marijuana law, approved in 2000 by an overwhelming 63 percent of Montana voters, caregivers could help as many patients as they wanted. Now they are limited to providing for only three patients, and they’re not allowed to make a profit.
The new law also places strict new conditions for qualifying for medical cannabis, and strict rules on the doctors who certify medicinal marijuana patients, reports Matt Volz of the Associated Press.
Medical marijuana advocates are fighting back through the legal system. Montana Cannabis Industry Association attorney James Goetz asked Helena District Judge James Reynolds to approve a preliminary injunction that would keep the law from taking effect on July 1.
Some patients and their families content the new law will just force them to make illegal purchases by shutting down legitimate means of supply.
“The more I read about it the more absurd it is,” said 79-year-old Charlie Hamp. “They’re just trying to eliminate marijuana in Montana.”
Hamp testified that his wife Shirley, 78, stirs a medical marijuana tincture into her morning coffee at home in Bozeman to alleviate the pain after her esophagus was removed and replaced with the lining of her stomach.
He isn’t sure if his wife will still be able to get that tincture from her provider after July 1, or even whether the provider will be in business at all. Neither one of them knows how to make the tincture, nor do they want to ask their daughter and son-in-law to do it for them.
“This is a law that is basically based on fear and intimidation, and we don’t think that is fair to either patients or caregivers,” Lang said.
The new law specifies that caregivers will have to give up all their marijuana so that law enforcement can destroy it (probably one joint at the time). No caregivers have yet turned in their crops, as far he knows, Lang said.
“If you say, for example, that there are 30,000 patients in the state, and for each one of those 30,000 patients, six plants can be grown, that is a significant amount of cannabis,” Lang said.
But that cannabis won’t go to the cops, according to Lang, but instead will likely hit the black market.
That’s exactly where Lang expects patients who have been legally using marijuana to turn if they can’t qualify under the new, stricter patient guidelines.
“Of course that is the only place that patients are going to be able to get their cannabis from, so it makes sense that caregivers, folks that have been growing and producing it up into this point, are just going to leak that medicine into the black market,” Lang said.

Marijuana Arrests in California By County

Feds raid medical marijuana facility, 2 other Oakland County properties

Federal agents raided at least three properties in Oakland County this morning.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents were at Caregivers of America, a medicinal marijuana facility in Walled Lake, a home in Commerce Township and an office building in Novi.

DEA Group supervisor Andrew Eiseman said sealed federal search warrants were executed at all three locations, but few other details were released.

He would not say why the warrants were issued or provide more details about the investigation. He did not say if any arrests have been made and would not comment on whether the raids were connected.

The home raided is located in the 3300 block of Benstein Road and is owned by Romel and Ban Casab, according to the Oakland County Assessor’s Office. Romel Casab has said in a lawsuit that he is one of the owners of the former Packard plant in Detroit.

A neighbor who lives across the street from the home said she first saw agents at the home shortly after 7 a.m. today. A black convertible was taken out of the garage and driven out before it was towed away, neighbor Annette Winberg, 66, said. Another car was also taken, she said.

About 10 agents were at the home this morning with four or five cars when a Free Press reporter arrived.

The medicinal marijuana facility in Walled Lake is located at 1020 Decker Road. Walled Lake assessor records say it is owned by 1020 Decker LLC. The assessor’s office said it sends the company’s tax bills to a suite on West 12 Mile Road in Novi. The DEA confirmed that agents were also at the location on 12 Mile this morning executing a search warrant.

Calls to Caregivers of America and to the Commerce Township home were not returned. A woman at the home in Commerce Township declined to talk to a Free Press reporter.

The DEA is working with the Oakland County Sheriff’s office on the raid.

“Mellow” Alligator Guarded Marijuana Stash in Southern California

Police in Riverside County, California recently made a raid in which they seized 2,300  cannabis plants that were guarded by a “very, very mellow” 50 pound American alligator. The marijuana grow is worth an estimated $1.5 million, and although gators are illegal to own in California, authorities say they are becoming popular pets.

This doesn’t seem like much of a security system, especially a “mellow” gator (maybe he was sampling his owner’s product). But even an aggressive gator can only be so fast and easy to kill for someone who really wanted that weed. More than likely this guy – who was released on $100,000 bail – enjoyed the novelty of having a gator on his property as opposed to a sophisticated security system.

I guess having a four-foot alligator is cool, but if you’re serious about protecting $1.5 million in cannabis, some cameras and locks might be a better investment.

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