I wanted to thank all the people involved with production of the Viceland Weediquette season 2 episode 7. Check it out here: https://www.viceland.com/en_us/video/search-and-seizure/57f57144a5c5e32d7a655398
To say this was exciting or a ton of fun would be an understatement. It is important to recognize that the people who were involved and the stories that they told are real stories. These stories represent the emblematic horrors that both patients and caregivers have had to endure over the last 8 years. It is unfortunate that only a few of the families that we identified as "victims" (of the state wide out of control Drug Task Force and shared with the production team from Vice) were selected for this piece, because there are a lot of families who similarly suffered.
For those who were selected by Vice for this episode, (The Shattuck family, Paul Williams and the Fisher Family), I wanted to thank and commend you all for your courage in coming forward to tell your story. No one likes being portrayed as a victim, and nobody should ever be put in that position. However, by telling your story, inviting the cameras into your home, and meeting your midwest American soccer mom families is probably the best way to effectuate a change in what can only be described as a police force that is out of control and driven by greed.
Anyone who has been a victim of a drug task force raid knows that the images of the government knocking in the front door to your home, armed with assault rifles pointed at you or your children are images that are hard to erase from your memory. There is no treatment plan or identifiable therapy for these horrific events. Most of the people who are forced to endure these violent encounters have difficulty speaking about it. However, as reflected, this was not the case for any of the people who participated in this production. Each of those interviewed unfortunately from their experiences, have become more than aware of the tactics, motives, and intentions of the Drug Task Forces. Each of them through their unique experience, whether desired or not, have become well-spoken advocates and experts on the injustice of forfeiture.
My dear friend and retired police officer Steve Miller (I always like the way that sounds) who has transformed himself from a traditional police officer to a super advocate for medical marihuana. Beyond his involvement with LEAP, he has had to endure losing friends and being described by his former colleagues as crossing the thin blue line (I say he is better off now), because he advocates for the medical use of marihuana. One could say his speaking honestly about the police officer mentality when it comes to forfeiture, may have had something to do with it. But people like him, and retired officer Ted Nelson, who help frame the conversation about forfeiture as abusive and unjust, helped make the overall story fair, and balanced.
It is too bad that the show is only 30 minutes or so. I know that there was a lot of other great footage I watched being filmed that ended up on the editing room floor. Regrettably no footage of Attorney Jeff Frazier, who has helped drive the narrative of forfeiture and drug task force abuse. Jeff was has played a critical role at Komorn Law and has helped frame this issue. We at Komorn Law feel fortunate to have been involved in this important issue that has plagued the State of Michigan. Everyone involved with the production of the show was awesome, they truly are a professional operation. It was interesting to learn, speaking with the crew, that so many of the issues frequently discussed in Michigan regarding medical marihuana and recreational marihuana, they were covering this year for season 2. Also, I have to say that Krishna is one of the most fascinating people I have encountered in recent years; he has a wide range of knowledge both nationally and internationally about these issues and is very talented at telling the story.
Everyone who participated or was involved in the planning and preparation had to give up a lot of time and make themselves available for the Vice filming schedule, and I wanted to thank all of you for your efforts. This includes specifically all of you whose stories were more than media worthy but were not included in final edits. Let us hope the Vice story helps get the word out of the atrocities that are occurring right here in Michigan, and hopefully builds some momentum to effectuate some positive change surrounding the current state of Michigan forfeiture laws and the inherent problems associated with arresting for profit.
#StopTheRaids #TeamShattuck #Team Hency #SteveMiller #LEAP #PaulWilliams #JeffFrazier #ChadCarr #JoshColton