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Med. Marijuana Theft Doesn't Shock Cops


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Updated: Monday, 09 Aug 2010, 6:45 PM EDT

Published : Monday, 09 Aug 2010, 5:13 PM EDT

 

By Ken Kolker

DELTON, Mich. (WOOD) - In the past, drug theft was a crime that often went unreported; a cost of doing business. But in Delton, the marijuana was legal and the victim wasn't a drug dealer.

 

A home was broken into last weekend and 11 potted marijuana plants were stolen from Kevin Spitler, a licensed medical marijuana caregiver. The pot was meant to help patients manage their pain.

 

"The door was kicked in," Spitler said. "(I) walked in and my house was trashed. (I) went downstairs and someone took my medical marijuana plants that I was growing for patients."

 

The theft isn't a huge surprise, police said, especially with the popularity of Michigan's medical marijuana law.

 

"It's definitely going to be an issue," said Capt. Joe Taylor, of the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team. "I think as they issue these cards, they're doing it by the thousand and thousands. We're going to have more problems that come about from it.

 

"Several times a week, there are drug ripoffs that occur. Now, you're going to an actual home where they know people have medical marijuana. The way they're growing marijuana plants, it's just a draw for somebody to come and take them."

 

Since the law went into effect in April 2009, more than 22,000 people have obtained state permits to smoke marijuana for their pain.

 

Many get it from caregivers such as Spitler, who can treat up to five patients and grow up to 12 plants at a time for each person.

 

For thieves, these caregivers are potentially prime targets.

 

Spitler's plants were several months old, about 3 1/2 feet tall and worth about $1,600 apiece -- a total value of more than $17,000.

 

He uses oil from the plants for his own neck and back pain.

 

"I'm going to do everything I can do to help them with their medicine," Spitler said. "I mean, they're a lot worse off than what I am in my pain. I'll try to find medicine for my patients that count on me.

 

"That's going to be tough. That's my job, is to help them."

 

It's unclear how many medical marijuana growers have been targeted in Michigan. The state health department, which licenses users and caregivers, doesn't keep track.

 

The only other incident was reported last week in Park Township, where thieves broke into a caregiver's grow room and stole two plants.

 

The editor of Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine told 24 Hour News 8 on Monday he's aware of one other case. Last month in Oakland County, thieves cut through the roof of an operation to reach their targets -- about 24 plants.

 

"With the economy the way it is, people are looking for a way to make money," Spitler said. "I just hope the caregiver and patients that are growing see this and they can take into consideration what happened to me and make everything a little more secure for themselves."

 

Taylor, who opposes the medical marijuana law, suggests growers take more precautions.

 

"My only advice is, there are different levels of security -- make sure it's extremely secure so it's very difficult to get into; maybe even alarms," Taylor said.

 

Spitler already has taken precautions, he said, and has installed motion detectors. His next step is to put in video surveillance cameras.

 

 

Video:

 

http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/gun_lake_region/Med-marijuana-theft-doesnt-shock-cops

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It used to be "No Humans Involved."

 

Note the police answer that indicates they believe it to be the victims fault they were robbed.

 

That was my first thought was the cops blaming the victim.

 

Also that is not the full text of the video. It starts by saying:

"Under Michigan Marijuana Law sellers are caregivers and pot smokers are patients."

 

They just have to try to stigmatize it by using the term "pot smokers."

They could have more clearly said "Under Michigan Marijuana Law caregivers are allowed to grow marijuana for patients who need it."

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true

 

when they had all the video of the bars when the no-smoking ban went into affect back in may, they didn't say "all these drunks won't be able to smoke while in the bars"

 

that's nice. anyone who uses pot is a pothead, but yet, alcoholics can duck the radar and escape the stigma, easily, because "alcohol is okay" :growl:

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I must say the officers that showed up that night 2am or so in tha morning have been nuthing short of awsome> I have been treated with no less respect than expected. They have handled everything very professional. They have come back, we did a follow-up together at about 11 sumthin last night. They have foillowed on many leads and im feeling pretty confident they will catch those involved. Again kudos to Barry Couny Sheriffs Dept. State farm is gonna fight my claim not only on my legal plants but only covering a very very limited amount of my equipment lost. Maybe check into other insurance agencies? I vow to fight this tooth and nail. Patients should not become a victum of a insurance agency after thier medicine is taken by thieves. Unless a tornato forced them into my house? I will keep updates coming as this case evolves... I am sure there may be at the least some intrest how this plays out. Maybe I should consult a more medical marijuana professional lawyer for this.

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I must say the officers that showed up that night 2am or so in tha morning have been nothing short of awesome> I have been treated with no less respect than expected. They have handled everything very professional. They have come back, we did a follow-up together at about 11 something last night. They have followed on many leads and I'm feeling pretty confident they will catch those involved. Again kudos to Barry County Sheriffs Dept. State farm is gonna fight my claim not only on my legal plants but only covering a very very limited amount of my equipment lost. Maybe check into other insurance agencies? I vow to fight this tooth and nail. Patients should not become a victim of a insurance agency after their medicine is taken by thieves. Unless a tornado forced them into my house? I will keep updates coming as this case evolves... I am sure there may be at the least some interest how this plays out. Maybe I should consult a more medical marijuana professional lawyer for this.

 

good for you keep fighting the good fight make them pay as you have done for so many years am sure as your premiums every year

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Kudos to the police involved!!

 

I just found out that the person caught red handed breaking into my home in 2007 has been arrested again .. for home invasion .. again.

 

This time including weapons charges.

 

I have always thought this person was armed while attacking my wife and myself in our homes.

 

In my 2007 case they arrested me and let the three home invaders go free.

 

We've come a long way!

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I must say the officers that showed up that night 2am or so in tha morning have been nuthing short of awsome> I have been treated with no less respect than expected. They have handled everything very professional. They have come back, we did a follow-up together at about 11 sumthin last night. They have foillowed on many leads and im feeling pretty confident they will catch those involved. Again kudos to Barry Couny Sheriffs Dept. State farm is gonna fight my claim not only on my legal plants but only covering a very very limited amount of my equipment lost. Maybe check into other insurance agencies? I vow to fight this tooth and nail. Patients should not become a victum of a insurance agency after thier medicine is taken by thieves. Unless a tornato forced them into my house? I will keep updates coming as this case evolves... I am sure there may be at the least some intrest how this plays out. Maybe I should consult a more medical marijuana professional lawyer for this.

 

I am going to be fighting too with our insurance company to cover my medication that was stolen. Upon telling them it was stolen (as they are not in MI) they were VERY unfamiliar with our law. I KNOW off the top they are going to deny it. I am going to have top really fight with them about it, but I will.

 

The Police here were also very respectful. They really didn't bat an eye, they treated us completely as the victims, which we were!

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Sorry for your troubles, they are really some low life individuals. I dont care how bad times are. There just is no excuse for this kind of crime.

Maybe similar to robbing a Church or something.....

 

Hmmm what would an appropriate punishment be for stealing someones personally grown medicine?

 

I think it should be similar to stealing ones' horse like... As in depriving someone of not only their lively hood but

also their right to feel allright.

 

for instance:

Stealing 1 - 10 plants one finger broke for each plant

10 - 20 one arm and one leg

20 - 36 both arms

...

 

2nd Offense: ....

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Sorry for your troubles, they are really some low life individuals. I dont care how bad times are. There just is no excuse for this kind of crime.

Maybe similar to robbing a Church or something.....

 

Hmmm what would an appropriate punishment be for stealing someones personally grown medicine?

 

I think it should be similar to stealing ones' horse like... As in depriving someone of not only their lively hood but

also their right to feel allright.

 

for instance:

Stealing 1 - 10 plants one finger broke for each plant

10 - 20 one arm and one leg

20 - 36 both arms

...

 

2nd Offense: ....

 

LOL~~ Pretty funny! I'm ALL for it!

 

We actually, were thinking they should be charged with breaking and entering a pharmaceutical site. (or whatever the proper term would be) I know it would be a Federal offense!

 

FIRST~~~~ We have to prove who it was. WE are 99 % sure who it was, but proving it may be another matter.

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