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For those who are asking. I continue posting these articles because I too have a vested interest in the Saginaw raids.

 

 

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2010/05/saginaw_county_sheriff_defends.html

 

SAGINAW TWP. — Edwyn W. Boyke Jr. said it’s surprising to him that sheriff’s deputies didn’t take his rusty, red Weed Wacker.

 

After all, he said, they did take two lawn mowers, a leaf blower, generator and an air compressor from his garage, in addition to his 2008 Chevy Impala, $62 from his wallet, 52 marijuana plants, five jars of harvested marijuana, Boyke’s medical marijuana card, a dehumidifier, growing apparatuses, scales and a 42-inch Panasonic TV.

 

Just over a month ago, Saginaw County sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents served Boyke, 64, of Saginaw Township a federal search warrant based on information that Boyke violated marijuana laws.

 

It was early-afternoon April 15 when Boyke, a state-sanctioned medical marijuana user, said he heard an knock at his front door. After stepping outside his home at 2670 Duane in Saginaw Township, he said he was surrounded by multiple officers with their weapons drawn.

 

He claims that the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department abused state forfeiture rules — reserved for the confiscation of property belonging to those suspected of engaging in criminal enterprise — when they seized his property and required he pay $5,000 for its return

 

“They started talking about putting a lien on my house, and that’s what scared me,” said Boyke, a former General Motors Corp. employee who became disabled in 2000.

 

The Sheriff’s Department doesn’t see it that way.

 

Saginaw County Sheriff William L. Federspiel, who publicly supported the Medical Marijuana Act during his run for sheriff, said medical marijuana users are not his department’s target.

 

“We’re not out here trying to find medical marijuana providers and harass them,” Federspiel said. “That’s not it at all. If I don’t know you’re a provider, you’re going to get your door kicked in if we have an active investigation, because we don’t know.”

 

Law enforcement agencies have no way to determine who the medical marijuana patients are, and that’s a fundamental flaw in the law, Federspiel said. He said the department acts on drug-related tips as they always have, and the fact that marijuana is now legal for some complicates the matter.

 

“I wish we could just say, ‘Hey, this guy’s got a card, don’t even bother with it,’ but unfortunately we don’t have that option,” Federspiel said. “And so we follow through, because you know what, it’s still against the law, unless you have the medical marijuana card.”

 

Federspiel maintains the department’s investigation indicated Boyke was in violation of the law, illegally possessed the marijuana and was subject to forfeiture rules.

 

“My guys wouldn’t hit a house on a search warrant unless they knew it was legitimate,” he said.

 

Celeste Clarkston, manager of compliance for state Department of Community Health Bureau of Heath Professions in Lansing, said the law forbids the state to share registration information with law enforcers. With about 20,000 patient and caregiver cards now issued statewide, many law enforcement agencies are facing the same dilemma, she said.

 

Federspiel said he plans to examine the issue with area legislators.

 

Saginaw County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Randy F. Pfau said no one forced Boyke to pay for the return of the items; Boyke had up to three weeks to appeal the forfeiture.

 

Property owners “have every right to take it to a formal hearing with a judge,” Pfau said. “And by coming in and paying that $5,000, he’s waiving that right.”

 

Pfau said forfeiture law requires contesting property owners file a claim with the county clerk within 20 days of the seizure, a copy of the claim with the prosecutor’s office, and pay a surety bond, ranging between $250 and $5,000, which he said is reimbursed if they appear in court.

 

Boyke said he wasn’t dealing drugs. He said he grows medical marijuana to smoke as treatment for pain stemming from a back injury. He admits noncompliance with portions of the medical marijuana statute.

 

One of his three basement growing rooms violated state statute because it lacked an operable lock, and he said his inventory surpassed the legal number of plants for a medical marijuana patient or provider.

 

Before the bust, Boyke said he didn’t realize cloned plants, which he hadn’t yet potted, counted against his allotted number of plants.

 

“If you violate those provisions that are spelled out clearly in the law, then we have to take action,” Federspiel said. “Otherwise, I’m going to be held responsible for not upholding the law.”

 

Saginaw County prosecutors haven’t yet charged Boyke with any crimes. Deputies booked and released him the same day, but not before deputies ransacked Boyke’s basement, he said.

 

The week after the raid, dented light reflectors scattered on the floor of the three grow rooms in Boyke’s basement. Wires that controlled air flow and temperature were cut and hanging from the ceiling; bulbs were smashed and venting removed.

 

Boyke said deputies and agents inflicted the damage to the $7,000 grow setup he built with his son-in law “to grow medical marijuana.”

 

“I mean, why did they have to smash everything up?” Boyke said. “Just take the extra plants.”

 

Pfau said it is department protocol for deputies to destroy or seize all marijuana growing related items when they perform a search or seizure at a suspected grow operation.

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Pfau said it is department protocol for deputies to destroy or seize all marijuana growing related items when they perform a search or seizure at a suspected grow operation.

 

Could be that's why the stopped when they did with John's location....

 

Interesting .. I expect a change in protocol when the first lawsuit gets filed.

 

I bet that Congressman Cushingberry would like to know about this standard protocol.

 

It used to be soooooo easy .. "Marijuana there? then trash everything you can."

But it's not that easy now ..

 

And the very first one that is a screw up will cost them a lot of money.

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http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2010/05/value_of_property_seizures_fro.html

 

In the next article down on the mlive.com page (linked above) this is stated;

 

Saginaw County Sheriff’s Detective Randy P. Pfau said the forfeiture process is entirely separate from criminal prosecution. Even if a suspect is never charged or convicted, his or her property remains subject to forfeiture. Property owners have up to 20 days to file an appeal to contest a forfeiture in court, Pfau said.

 

Also;

 

“In civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent, and that’s the exact opposite of the normal principle of innocent until proven guilty,” Bullock said. “In America, people should not lose their property without being convicted of a crime.Scott Bullock, a senior attorney for the Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit public interest organization.

 

I thank Scott Bullock for bringing this issue to light.

 

I still feel that the most important issue in all of this is respect for the law as it is currently written. I believe that patients should respect the law and not possess more medicine or plants than they are allowed.

Caregivers, please do the same. Stay within your plant limit and usable product limit as allowed by the law. You are not only putting yourself at risk by crossing legal lines, you are also putting your patients at risk. When you get raided, your patients cards and paperwork become the property of the police. These patients are now exposed, perhaps in ways that could be detrimental socially or professionally to them.

A caregiver has a duty to protect their patients by staying within the legal limits of the law.

 

Personal responsibility.

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That is messed up!

 

 

I totally agree

 

I will say this, these raids bottom line affects patients daily lives. When medicine is destroyed patients suffer.

I had four vertabrae fused in my neck on May 5th. I was released by my personal care physician four days earlier. They had been prescribing me Vicodin since last year for pain. They knew from day one I was a medical marijuana patient. I had signed a pain contract and was given a prescription for Vicodin the same day. I was released from the practice for violating that pain contract by using medical marijuana. The doctor really told me that he didn't know he wasn't supposed to give them to me until now.

This is the kicker. I was told that if I had been retained as a patient, they would never have been able to prescribe me any painkillers again. They told me I needed to return to the physician who signed my recommendation and get my medical marijuana as well as my opiate medications from him from this point forward. That is how they believe the law works.

I was escorted to the door after challenging them. I am not done educating them however.

 

I'm in pain and I'm pissed off that this is so out of control! I need to go to church now.

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The thing that strikes me hard about this subject that is always repeated on the forums whenever it comes up is its complexity. There are a great deal of distinct, separate issues that play a significant part in the subject of law enforcement actions and policies. However, most persons responding with a post seem to be oblivious to all the different components of this subject. What I want to emphasize is that very few posters draw attention to all the different complicated nuances and aspects of this subject, oversimplifying matters and therefore misleading others into what I suggest is a proper, thoughtful, nuanced full attitude to take on this subject. Let me point out some of the many facets involved that each deserve to be addressed separately:

1. The mmj community generally wants to support the mmj cause and persons in it, even when persons in it clearly break the law. This support is admirable in a way, but it sometimes comes at the price of the unspoken suggestion that this support also approves of persons breaking the law.

2. The law is flawed, and we all know it. Not only is the MMMA of 2008 flawed, so is the law at the federal level. Marijuana should be decriminalized. People are getting charged with crimes that are ridiculous.

3. Law enforcement has been put in a bind by the flaws in the law. They face legitimate dilemmas when it comes to enforcement actions.

4. Some aspects of law enforcement clearly use methods and policies that violate the law. Some cops are indeed pigs. But others feel that all cops are pigs.

5. Most of the time all the facts of a case are unknown and the supposed facts that are reported may themselves be wrong, but this gets overlooked. People assume that they know the final truth about an incident far before all the facts are established in a court of law. Many persons are not reserved enough in making final judgments about a case. Posters may report additional statements as facts, when in fact know one really knows whether or not they are accurate. Too many people believe everything they read.

6. When calls for action against injustice are made, they generally ignore the complexity of the problems, as if some kind of simple protest or political action is the solution to everything. Chest thumping is overplayed.

7. Patients and caregivers have very little recourse to right wrongs committed by LEO. This is wrong.

8. There are no uniform policies regarding enforcement actions adopted by the many different LEO posts throughout the state.

I could keep going. But the point is that there are so many different angles to this subject that it's almost impossible for someone to write a balanced, well-rounded response to this subject that reflects a thoughtful complete attitude persons in the mmj community should take. It is far more difficult to sort out all these issues than most posters ever admit or point out. I do not take issue with any particular statement posters have made. I am only pointing out that there are always many more factors involved than most posts ever mention. As a community, we can do better at being aware of this, in my opinion.

 

Kurt

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For those who are asking. I continue posting these articles because I too have a vested interest in the Saginaw raids.

 

 

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2010/05/saginaw_county_sheriff_defends.html

 

SAGINAW TWP. — Edwyn W. Boyke Jr. said it’s surprising to him that sheriff’s deputies didn’t take his rusty, red Weed Wacker.

 

After all, he said, they did take two lawn mowers, a leaf blower, generator and an air compressor from his garage, in addition to his 2008 Chevy Impala, $62 from his wallet, 52 marijuana plants, five jars of harvested marijuana, Boyke’s medical marijuana card, a dehumidifier, growing apparatuses, scales and a 42-inch Panasonic TV.

 

Just over a month ago, Saginaw County sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents served Boyke, 64, of Saginaw Township a federal search warrant based on information that Boyke violated marijuana laws.

 

It was early-afternoon April 15 when Boyke, a state-sanctioned medical marijuana user, said he heard an knock at his front door. After stepping outside his home at 2670 Duane in Saginaw Township, he said he was surrounded by multiple officers with their weapons drawn.

 

He claims that the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department abused state forfeiture rules — reserved for the confiscation of property belonging to those suspected of engaging in criminal enterprise — when they seized his property and required he pay $5,000 for its return

 

“They started talking about putting a lien on my house, and that’s what scared me,” said Boyke, a former General Motors Corp. employee who became disabled in 2000.

 

The Sheriff’s Department doesn’t see it that way.

 

Saginaw County Sheriff William L. Federspiel, who publicly supported the Medical Marijuana Act during his run for sheriff, said medical marijuana users are not his department’s target.

 

“We’re not out here trying to find medical marijuana providers and harass them,” Federspiel said. “That’s not it at all. If I don’t know you’re a provider, you’re going to get your door kicked in if we have an active investigation, because we don’t know.”

 

Law enforcement agencies have no way to determine who the medical marijuana patients are, and that’s a fundamental flaw in the law, Federspiel said. He said the department acts on drug-related tips as they always have, and the fact that marijuana is now legal for some complicates the matter.

 

“I wish we could just say, ‘Hey, this guy’s got a card, don’t even bother with it,’ but unfortunately we don’t have that option,” Federspiel said. “And so we follow through, because you know what, it’s still against the law, unless you have the medical marijuana card.”

 

Federspiel maintains the department’s investigation indicated Boyke was in violation of the law, illegally possessed the marijuana and was subject to forfeiture rules.

 

“My guys wouldn’t hit a house on a search warrant unless they knew it was legitimate,” he said.

 

Celeste Clarkston, manager of compliance for state Department of Community Health Bureau of Heath Professions in Lansing, said the law forbids the state to share registration information with law enforcers. With about 20,000 patient and caregiver cards now issued statewide, many law enforcement agencies are facing the same dilemma, she said.

 

Federspiel said he plans to examine the issue with area legislators.

 

Saginaw County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Randy F. Pfau said no one forced Boyke to pay for the return of the items; Boyke had up to three weeks to appeal the forfeiture.

 

Property owners “have every right to take it to a formal hearing with a judge,” Pfau said. “And by coming in and paying that $5,000, he’s waiving that right.”

 

Pfau said forfeiture law requires contesting property owners file a claim with the county clerk within 20 days of the seizure, a copy of the claim with the prosecutor’s office, and pay a surety bond, ranging between $250 and $5,000, which he said is reimbursed if they appear in court.

 

Boyke said he wasn’t dealing drugs. He said he grows medical marijuana to smoke as treatment for pain stemming from a back injury. He admits noncompliance with portions of the medical marijuana statute.

 

One of his three basement growing rooms violated state statute because it lacked an operable lock, and he said his inventory surpassed the legal number of plants for a medical marijuana patient or provider.

 

Before the bust, Boyke said he didn’t realize cloned plants, which he hadn’t yet potted, counted against his allotted number of plants.

 

“If you violate those provisions that are spelled out clearly in the law, then we have to take action,” Federspiel said. “Otherwise, I’m going to be held responsible for not upholding the law.”

 

Saginaw County prosecutors haven’t yet charged Boyke with any crimes. Deputies booked and released him the same day, but not before deputies ransacked Boyke’s basement, he said.

 

The week after the raid, dented light reflectors scattered on the floor of the three grow rooms in Boyke’s basement. Wires that controlled air flow and temperature were cut and hanging from the ceiling; bulbs were smashed and venting removed.

 

Boyke said deputies and agents inflicted the damage to the $7,000 grow setup he built with his son-in law “to grow medical marijuana.”

 

“I mean, why did they have to smash everything up?” Boyke said. “Just take the extra plants.”

 

Pfau said it is department protocol for deputies to destroy or seize all marijuana growing related items when they perform a search or seizure at a suspected grow operation.

Totally screwed up. Someday someone will lose their life again in one of these dumb donkey raids. Just another excuse to play Starsky and Hutch and compensate for their little...guns.

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He admits noncompliance with portions of the medical marijuana statute.

 

One of his three basement growing rooms violated state statute because it lacked an operable lock, and he said his inventory surpassed the legal number of plants for a medical marijuana patient or provider.

 

Before the bust, Boyke said he didn’t realize cloned plants, which he hadn’t yet potted, counted against his allotted number of plants.

 

“If you violate those provisions that are spelled out clearly in the law, then we have to take action,” Federspiel said. “Otherwise, I’m going to be held responsible for not upholding the law.”

 

***************************************

 

It is on us if we mess up. We must know the law, and follow the law. At all times. Otherwise, we are breaking the law.

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