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People V John Doe - Charlevoix County


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This is a breaking story out of Charlevoix County, Michigan. This raid was described by John Doe's attorney, Jesse Williams, as an "egregious abuse of law enforcement tactics against a legitimate medical marijuana patient and caregiver."

 

Prosecutors alleged that John Doe "did violate a regulation of the Michigan Health Department ... by not having marijuana plants in a fully secured enclosure; contrary to MCL 333.2443."

 

Yesterday, I filmed the Northern Express' Anne Stanton interviewing John Doe regarding the September 20 raid of his medical marijuana grow operation. My video, which obscures Doe's identity, will be streaming online shortly. Stanton's story pertaining to this issue will be on newsstands on October 9.

 

Mr. Doe is 63 and he's asking to remain anonymous because he doesn't want to further embarrass his extended family. He is also concerned that criminals will discover where he lives and steal his medical marijuana when he starts growing again.

 

I've attached below some search warrant documents, police reports and a few pictures of where John Doe was growing his medical marijuana. If you do discover Mr. Doe's identity, he's asked that you please respect his privacy and not post his name.

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i dont get if a warrant is specific to marijuana. and the subject to be searched has a card, that they dont stop in their tracks.

The LEO affidavit claims the person is violating the Section 4 guidelines, by not having his grow in an enclosed secured facility, and therefore is not entitled to the protections of Section 4. The judge agreed that there was enough probable cause to at least get proof via the warrants.

 

It's a bit twisted on the logic, but that is the way some folks are attempting to intimidate legal patients and caregivers.

 

Plus the ruling over in Schoolcraft, hadn't been issued yet, so the judge was going by what they considered to be an accurate reading of the law, or at least warranted to be heard in court.

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Thank you Eric!!! I am looking forward to watching the video.

 

 

 

Looks like a secure area to me. It does not have to have a roof, but he did. There is no way anyone could see anything from the ground level and if a plane was flying low enough to identify what was in there the plane would be in violation of the law. Most houses have glass windows and cardboard doors. A swift kick to any door will open it. He had triple layered security, It was screened from view with plastic and then two layers of fencing. Plus he may have had a dog or other security devices at work.

 

Trying to find a small technicalities to criminalize people is not law enforcement, it is harassment. This is the British system we through off or backs over 200 years ago. It is very obvious John doe was trying to stay legal. All the officers involved in this and the judge should be ashamed of themselves. They are suppose to be on the side of justice.

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The "main grow area" looks pretty secure to me. I am not sure where their logic of it not being secured comes in.

Was the door wide open at the time?

 

Can people just fly helicopters wherever they want over private property?

At what elevation are you considered to be off the private property? 10 feet? 20 feet?

Can I build a small helicopter and go look for outdoor grows too? LOL

They would probably label me a terrorist and lock me up for a long time!

 

The fact is,

There could have been anything in those rooms when he first spotted them, and I view his actions no different than if he were to be peeking into the window of someone's house. Since these task forces are so rich, that gives them the right to be peeping toms?

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This Greenhouse looks incredibly similar to one i saw in Mid michigan where the flyover team sent groundtroops and the grow was approved and they left the family and plants alone.. How can the standards be so different based on location? The man was obviously doing every thing he could to stay legal and the spirit of the law should be considered by the judge or whoever signed the Permission to invade and steal from these ppl. Why could they not have just freaking asked him to beef it up??? It is clear to me that different ppl have different agendas on what they want from this law and the overzeolous assaults by rouge drug enforcement teams and prosecuters and such needs to end now.. (Aka tyranny) The theft by our own government of ppl who are just trying to abide by the law needs to stop now.. And i suggest ppl take a look in the middle (aka Isabella county) To see how to be fairhanded..

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the guy in schoolcraft won, i cant post the file it says to big to upload. defines "locked and secured" and at the end says the guy gets his plants back.

 

anyone know how to resize somthing so it could get posted? i can email it to ya.

 

Microsoft Office Tools, then Microsoft Office Picture Manager. It has a nice auto resize feature like large web phote, medium web photo and small. These are all preset and they work very well. The pics still come out very nice, but small enough data size wise to upload to web pages.

 

Wildman

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VIDEO: ( http://www.upnorthmedia.org/watchupnorthtv.asp?SDBFid=2422#vid ) The Northern Express' Anne Stanton interviews John Doe regarding the September 20 raid of his medical marijuana grow operation in Charlevoix County, MI. Presented by Up North TV Producer Eric L. VanDussen - ericlvandussen@gmail.com

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i would like to send the link to all the news and to all that are running for office once again Thank you

it is sad that the will of the people are not followed and they didn't even have a warrant just like when they Raided us no warrant until 2-3 hours later

What can i do to help him thats were we need to be at helping people that are Raided

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This is so sad.. Three patients with all their winters worth of medicine stolen by our own government. This is not what i intended when i voted for this law. And for why? Because a small portion of the greenhouse may have been visible from the air? I was unaware the law stated that the grow needed to be invisible.. I thought it said locked and enclosed which is what that was..

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VIDEO: ( http://www.upnorthmedia.org/watchupnorthtv.asp?SDBFid=2422#vid ) The Northern Express' Anne Stanton interviews John Doe regarding the September 20 raid of his medical marijuana grow operation in Charlevoix County, MI. Presented by Up North TV Producer Eric L. VanDussen - ericlvandussen@gmail.com

 

 

 

The term OUTRAGE does not come close to the feeling I have after seeing this guy's story...now granted no matter how flat a pancake it has TWO sides & I/ we have not heard the other side .. but if I knew of a Attorney to hepl with this I would be all over it..it seem he has a case against the city/ county for the price of the lost medicines @ a range of hundreds of $$ to Thousnads per plant.. REplacement costs After he wins his misdemenor case that is. And I would encourage hime NOT I repeat NOT take ANY 'deal' offered to avoid a Felony rven thou its a misdemenor charge...so far.Don't be surprised if they rais the charge to be able to bargin it down to a 'lesser' charge..

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Unfairly Targeted? - http://digital.zoompubs.com/publication/?i=49293&p=11

 

Medical marijuana grower says Charlevoix deputies went too far destroying $100,000 crop

 

By Anne Stanton - Northern Express - October 10, 2010

 

In what an attorney called vigilante justice, a Charlevoix narcotics team destroyed an estimated $100,000 worth of medical marijuana plants before a jury could decide on whether they were growing in a legal enclosure.

 

“I was treated like a common criminal. My civil rights were violated,” said the 63-yearold Charlevoix man, who said he rigorously studied the new law before growing plants this summer.

 

Dwight Smith (not his real name) was growing 32 plants in a padlocked doublefenced enclosure for himself and two other patients. The plant number was below the legal limit and he immediately produced caregiver and patient cards for sheriff’s deputies.

 

“I’m madder than hell. I never did anything to cause this. I’m embarrassed and my wife’s embarrassed. And the biggest thing is they didn’t care about the compassion part of it. They never once asked about the medical marijuana aspect of this. They were more like, ‘You’re a drug dealer and now we’ve got you!’”

 

Charlevoix Deputy William Church of the Joint Operational Law Enforcement (JOLT) multi-jurisdictional drug team wrote that the plants were not properly enclosed. The team found the plants in a padlocked hoop house, which was wholly covered with fencing (including the roof). A six-foot chain link fence surrounds the hoop house. Although not required by law, the hoop house and fence were both covered with thin white plastic to block an outside view of the plants.

 

HEALTH VIOLATION

 

So why the seizure? Smith said the deputies told him that the problem was an 18-inch gap in the 25-foot by 20-foot enclosure. The gap was caused by the weight of rainwater on the roof pulling the tarp upward from the ground. At issue is whether a plant stem was protruding from the hoop house. Even if it were, it was still not protruding from the exterior six-foot fence, Smith said.

 

Smith was charged with a “local health department violation” in violation of the state law, which carries a six-month jail sentence and/or a $200 fine.

 

His attorney, Jesse Williams of Traverse City, said the JOLT team should have immediately left after Smith presented the medical marijuana cards. Instead, they destroyed $100,000 worth of plants for what they believed to be a misdemeanor.

 

“Here we have deputies acting like cowboys, running on people’s property and refusing to follow the law, which voters overwhelmingly approved. If they used common sense and spoke to this man, they would have realized he was fully complying and left him alone,” he said. “This guy went above and beyond the requirements of the law. He did everything he could to safeguard the community and his family with a gated fence on his driveway, motion sensors and a video security camera. My client and his two patients rely upon this medicine and they took it without any legal reason.”

 

PAIN RELIEF OPTIONS

 

In fact, Smith could be considered pretty much a poster child for the relatively new medical marijuana law. Twenty years ago, he had a partial hip replacement that now causes him arthritic pain. He also has painful pressure behind his eyes from glaucoma.

 

After voters approved the medical marijuana law, Smith said he studied his options for pain relief. Economics played a large part in his decision. Smith and his wife live in a beautiful home south of Charlevoix with a man-made pond on 26 acres. Although it looks as if they’re doing well, the couple’s cash flow has diminished with Smith unable to work. In their early 60s, they are too young to qualify for Medicare.

 

Smith’s wife works three nights a week as a bartender, but they mostly rely on an $863 Social Security check. Most of their money is eaten up by car and health insurance, which doesn’t cover prescription drugs or doctor visits. Smith says his doctor in Traverse City said he couldn’t guarantee that hip surgery would help, and suggested he solve it with “chemicals.” Smith wanted to avoid the side effects of the prescription narcotic, as well as addiction. Plus he couldn’t afford it, so he obtained permission from two doctors to become a medical marijuana patient.

 

Smith decided to grow marijuana for himself and two other patients (both Vietnam veterans) this summer and aimed for strict compliance. He required his patients to obtain cards before he began any new plants, and he chose not to grow the plants in his large pole barn because his four grandkids, ages 11 to 16, often went in there. In fact, he blocked the enclosure from view—using dump trucks, a 12-foot earthen berm, and an RV trailer. He requested anonymity in this article to protect his property from burglars, as well as to spare his grandkids embarrassment.

 

“Nothing is more important to me than my grandkids. I’m not promoting pot to anyone.”

 

Security is important not only for the community, but also for medical marijuana growers. There has been at least one reported theft in the state. In late September, three armed people entered a medical marijuana dispensary and stole cash and marijuana, according to an October 1 annarbor.com report.

 

SHARP HELICOPTER EYES

 

Smith said he was eating lunch on the back porch of his home, which is located one driveway down from where the hoop house is located. He saw a black helicopter fly over at about 40 mph and an estimated 400 feet above the property. He said it did not hover. Narcotics teams around the state do flyovers at this time of year when marijuana plants are nearing maturity and ready to harvest.

 

Almost immediately, one of Smith’s patients who was living in an Airstream several hundred feet away from the hoop house, called Smith to tell him that deputies were on the property. They had edged around the driveway’s locked power gate. They had no search warrant.

 

Smith quickly arrived to the locked driveway and found five more JOLT officers, who also lacked warrants. They told him that marijuana was viewed from the helicopter, so their search was justified.

 

Williams said that’s highly unlikely since the roof of the hoop house was covered with white plastic.

 

“Please produce the photos of what was seen from a helicopter. Common sense tells me you can’t see a stem sticking out of a six-by-six inch hole from 400 feet in the air.”

 

Officers, who arrived at 1:45 p.m., asked for additional paperwork besides the cards; although not required by law. Smith complied. When they still refused to leave, Smith allowed them into the hoop house to count the plants and take photos. (The deputy’s report erroneously says the search warrant was “executed” at 1:45 p.m.)

 

THE DECISION

 

Smith and the JOLT team stood at the structure for about two hours, awaiting a decision by Assistant Prosecutor Shaynee Fanara who received a photo from the iPhone. Smith said he talked to Fanara at about 4 p.m. A deputy told her that someone could jump the six-foot fence and reach the plant.

 

“I had the prosecutor on the phone, begging her to let me fix this foot and a half piece of plastic. I’m hearing impaired so it was difficult for me to hear her, but I said, ‘Mrs. Prosecutor, come out and see this for yourself. Will you work with me on this?’ I’m begging her like a little kid.”

 

Smith said Fanara approved the search warrant at about 4 p.m. Although other prosecutors have left marijuana plants intact if there was a legal question (such as Kalkaska Prosecutor Brian Donnelly), Fanara ordered the plants torn from the ground. Charlevoix Prosecutor John Jarema wasn’t involved in the approval of the affidavit, but said Fanara trusted the deputy’s account that the enclosure was illegal.

 

ONCE THE SMOKE CLEARS

 

One of the patients, Dan, said he uses medical marijuana for pain he still suffers from falling down a stairway; getting hit by a car as he was walking down a street; and getting hit by a car while bike riding three years ago. “I about cried when I got the phone call. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

 

Marijuana provides some relief, but he still suffers from quite a bit of pain, he said. “It makes it easier to bear.”

 

Dan wondered if the state agency that provides approval for the medical marijuana cards shares the address of the caregiver. “How discreet is this? I was under the assumption that it was confidential.”

 

Ronnie, the other patient and a Vietnam veteran, said he uses medical marijuana for arthritis in his fingers, which are gnarled and sometimes look like thick sausages after severe swelling. Both patients helped Smith build the structure.

 

“They were on the property without a search warrant. They put the cart before the horse,” he said.

 

Smith thinks that a neighbor might have notified JOLT of the location—in fact, another medical marijuana patient who was growing plants in the woods was also searched and charged.

 

Smith said that he believes local law enforcement needs to change its attitude toward legal medical marijuana. “When I got them cards out for them, it devastated them. You could tell.”

 

With the marijuana destroyed, Smith said he and his two patients are without their medicine or any money to buy it. Yet Smith said he remains committed to medical marijuana as an option. Once the smoke is cleared (no pun intended), the law will give him clarity on what an outside structure must look like. On that, he and the prosecutor agree.

 

Editor's note: You can watch Anne Stanton’s videotaped interview with Dwight by going to: http://www.upnorthmedia.org/watchupnorthtv.asp?SDBFid=2422#vid

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A legal patient/ caregiver grow operation busted 9/20/10 after all of the court precedence that has been set recently? Tell me this though, how do you figure 32 plants will only produce 12.5 oz. maximum allowable in such case as 1 cg/pt w/ 2 pt. Ok 2.5 for each pt = 7.5 +cg allowed to possess 2.5 for each pt. Right? That would be like 3/8 of an oz per plant! (Not in reality) This guy is claiming in the neighborhood of $100,000 worth of weed. Is this really how the law was intended? I dont think so, but on the other hand in a situation like this where the man has family around the house and stuff and he has room to do this outside, why not take advantage of the full sunlight as mother nature intended it to be and all live happily ever after! Remember in the affirmative defense part of the law where it says a caregiver or patient can have enough medicine on hand so as to provide an uninterrupted supply to the patients. This being said , I believe that if the harvests are spaced apart by one year and each one of them smokes 2 ozs a month, then they better grow 72 ozs to carry them through. This sounds like a lot, but think about it... They would have to harvest over two ozs dry weight per plant to hit the mark. That wouldnt leave room for any error. Two ounces per plant outdoor is a no brainer. More like 6-10ozs. Nothing like stockin' up for winter! They are long up here! Peace!

 

http://upnorthmedia.org/watchupnorthtv.asp?SDBFid=2422#vid

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