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Medical Pot Cases Head To Court


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Medical pot cases head to court

Enforcement of state law leaves cities, defendants confused

Jennifer Chambers / The Detroit News

Several showdowns over Michigan's medical marijuana law are slated for courtrooms across the state this year as users and law enforcement officials clash over the drug's legality.

Oakland County prosecutors have until Friday to file legal arguments stating why nine people arrested in a medical marijuana raid should be tried on felony drug charges in a Ferndale court.

 

 

 

In a Wayne County courtroom Jan. 21, attorneys for Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills will ask to have a lawsuit against their cities moved to Oakland County, where prosecutors and law enforcement have declared medical marijuana dispensaries illegal.

And a Madison Heights couple, certified under Michigan law to use, possess and grow medical marijuana, are asking the Michigan Supreme Court to dismiss felony drug charges against them. A decision is expected this year.

In another case, federal agents want the state of Michigan to turn over records in a medical marijuana investigation of seven people in the Lansing area. The U.S. Attorney's Office is asking a judge to order the state to comply with a subpoena. In a court filing last week, prosecutors said the state is resisting because of a privacy provision in Michigan law.

These controversies stem from the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, passed in 2008 by Michigan voters. The act approved use of the drug for people with qualifying debilitating medical conditions. It allows patients certified by a doctor to use marijuana and caregivers to grow and provide it for up to five patients.

In the Ferndale case, prosecutors are challenging the law, saying the sale and distribution of any marijuana is illegal.

But lawyers for the nine defendants who worked or were co-owners of Clinical Relief, a marijuana dispensary, are fighting the charges and asking a district court judge to dismiss the case.

An undercover narcotics officer admitted he used a phony Michigan medical marijuana identity card to make purchases at the clinic, which was raided by an Oakland County Sheriff's SWAT team in late August.

The officer said he got approval from his superiors at the Sheriff's Office and from the Prosecutor's Office before making the card. The state issues the ID cards to people certified by a physician to use marijuana to treat a medical condition.

Lawyers for the defendants said that because the state considers the cards private medical information, there is no way for a marijuana dispensary to confirm if a card is real or fake.

Judge Joseph Longo has set a Feb. 7 deadline for defense lawyers to file their arguments, court officials said. A decision in the case is expected after March.

Cities take action

Across the state, as communities struggle to interpret the law, many have enacted measures that essentially prohibit medical marijuana use, saying the drug remains illegal under federal law.

Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan sued three Metro Detroit communities over their bans, claiming they don't have the power to veto state law.

The lawsuit alleges that Livonia, Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham have violated state law with ordinances that effectively banned a Birmingham couple and other patients from legally using medical marijuana.

In an unrelated case, an Oakland County couple certified to use medical marijuana under state law are asking the Michigan Supreme Court to dismiss felony drug charges against them.

Robert Redden and Torey Clark were charged with drug possession after police found 21 marijuana plants in a raid at their Madison Heights home in 2009.

Prosecutors allege the couple possessed more than the allowable number of plants and did not keep the plants in an enclosed, locked facility as required.

Their case received attention in September after a state appellate judge wrote a 30-page opinion urging state lawmakers to take action on the "inartfully drafted" medical marijuana law, which he said clashes with other Michigan laws.

Law's consequences

Confusion over Michigan's medical marijuana law has led to patients with valid prescriptions losing their jobs or being threatened with eviction from their homes. Many federally subsidized housing complexes think they must follow federal laws or risk losing federal funding.

James McCurtis, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Community Health, which issues the state ID cards, said 83,552 applications had been sent to the state as of Dec. 10. Of those, 45,808 patient registrations were issued. The number of caregivers is not available and is not included in this number, officials said. More than 9,560 applications have been denied.

Matthew Abel, a Detroit-area attorney who specializes in medical marijuana defense cases, does not predict drastic changes to Michigan's medical marijuana law from any court rulings.

It's not certain what lawmakers will do, he said, under the new, Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov.-elect Rick Snyder.

"I think the law is going to stay intact. It's possible but unlikely that the Legislature will come to some agreement to modify the law. They need a three-fourths majority to repeal the law," Abel said. "We are looking to see what changes the new administration is going to bring to this."

 

 

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110103/LIFESTYLE03/101030370/Medical-pot-cases-head-to-court#ixzz19xmfAHv4

 

 

Michael A. Komorn

Attorney and Counselor

Law Office of Michael A. Komorn

3000 Town Center, Suite, 1800

Southfield, MI 48075

800-656-3557 (Toll Free)

248-351-2200 (Office)

248-357-2550 (Phone)

248-351-2211 (Fax)

Email: michael@komornlaw.com

Website: www.komornlaw.com

Check out our Radio show:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/planetgreentrees

NEW CALL IN NUMBER: (347) 326-9626

Live Every Wednesday 8-9:30 p.m.

PLANET GREENTREES

w/ Attorney Michael Komorn

 

The most relevant radio talk show for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Community. PERIOD.

 

If you have a medical marihuana question or comment, please email them to me, or leave them on the forum for the MMMA, and I will try to answer them live on the air.

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/planetgreentrees

PLANET GREENTREES Call-in Number: (347) 326-9626

Call-in Number: (347) 326-9626

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Just curious Michael, what would the procedure be to Counter the Ordinances once they're passed ? Since we are a Home Rule State.

 

In fact how can they enact these ordinances without the people voting, infact denying there Rights. Criminalizing Law abiding Citizens ? What Country is this ?

 

The only solution available is to sue, sue, sue. (See the ACLU sues in Livonia, Birmingham, and Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, and Wyoming), Make the cities spend the tax dollar on the silly defense of an ordinance that is unconstitutional. Unfortunately similar events have transpired in the Medical Marihuana states that proceeded Michigan. A cursory review will show that, even though illegal, many cities and local municipalities throughout the country have enacted similar ordinances, banning the rights articulated under the State Law Referendum. My thoughts and feelings are the same as yours, how can they do this? How can they criminalize the rights and protections of the MMMMA? Well they cant, and they should not be able to do this. Yet here we are. Obviously the political leaders are taking actions that are not representative of the voters. This is an important point. Forget medical marihuana for a minute, and then think of what the public reaction would or should be be to any local or state government that refused to uphold the law. Then add to the equation that the MMMA was enacted via a referendum. A referendum is the most involved a citizen can be in the democratic process. A referendum is a law created by the people, the voters. It is not a law enacted or made by the politicians or our so called representatives, it is a law that is essentially written by the People. The idea that this fact is ignored, and the protections from this referendum are being legislated away, is very very scary. I think that the only way to really view this, is to see it as a challenge to our democratic system of government. It should never happen. These cities need to know they are on the wrong side of this issue. The so called local politicians need to be bombarded with calls, letters, and protests making it clear that they are wrong, and that there tenure in office will soon come to an end. The idea that the limited resources these cities have is going to promulgate violations of state law is absolutely offensive. Aside from ignoring the benefits of medical marihuana as a legitimate medicine, these politicians were sent a message in November of 2008, which was to stop wasting our precious resources arresting patients and caregivers. Yet here they go.

In order to change the law legally, without violating the protections afforded by the state ( to enforce the protections of the MMMA), the Legislature would need a 3/4 (75%) vote in both houses. Other than that, the MMMA is the law of the state of Michigan, I would suggest that after much expense and waste of resources, the above named cities will loose both in the judicial system and in the Court of public opinion.

It is going to be an interesting year.

 

 

Michael A. Komorn

Attorney and Counselor

Law Office of Michael A. Komorn

3000 Town Center, Suite, 1800

Southfield, MI 48075

800-656-3557 (Toll Free)

248-351-2200 (Office)

248-357-2550 (Phone)

248-351-2211 (Fax)

Email: michael@komornlaw.com

Website: www.komornlaw.com

Check out our Radio show:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/planetgreentrees

NEW CALL IN NUMBER: (347) 326-9626

Live Every Wednesday 8-9:30 p.m.

PLANET GREENTREES

w/ Attorney Michael Komorn

 

The most relevant radio talk show for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Community. PERIOD.

 

If you have a medical marihuana question or comment, please email them to me, or leave them on the forum for the MMMA, and I will try to answer them live on the air.

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/planetgreentrees

PLANET GREENTREES Call-in Number: (347) 326-9626

Call-in Number: (347) 326-9626

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Guest knucklehead bob

Just wondering why when a defendant is in front of a judge , "ignorance of the law is no excuse"? However , it is accepted S.O.P. for law enforcement to kill family pets , to persecute & prosecute otherwise law abiding citizens and turn there lives upside down , all because they don't understand this new law !:growl:

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Well here is my input the plants were locked up they know it the fact is they were 2 locks the front door witch they (Leo) broke down to get in because they had no warrant

and a lock on the bedroom door

we are more then happy to let all this go

Torey says( i want my life back)

 

P.S you can keep the plants all 21 of them

 

 

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Well here is my input the plants were locked up they know it the fact is they were 2 locks the front door witch they (Leo) broke down to get in because they had no warrant

and a lock on the bedroom door

we are more then happy to let all this go

Torey says( i want my life back)

 

P.S you can keep the plants all 21 of them

 

 

 

Many thoughts are shared from us to you both that you may somehow, immediately, miraculously get your lives back, plus many times what you have lost!! Also that no more evil will befall human beings who have harmed no others, such as yourselves and many others, especially evil coming from the very folks who are sworn to protect us! Amen to the thought of your life back...

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Many thoughts are shared from us to you both that you may somehow, immediately, miraculously get your lives back, plus many times what you have lost!! Also that no more evil will befall human beings who have harmed no others, such as yourselves and many others, especially evil coming from the very folks who are sworn to protect us! Amen to the thought of your life back...

 

Thank you for your kind words my friend i wish Torey would understand what she / us are doing be standing up for are RIGHTS this is and never been about us

they the PA are using us to over turn the will of the people their has been some people that were Raided and have been set Free because of the C.O.A. opinion about us

we will be back inn Court soon i hope we can fill that court room up we will need all the support that we can get we need to show the Juror who we are

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Thank you for your kind words my friend i wish Torey would understand what she / us are doing be standing up for are RIGHTS this is and never been about us

they the PA are using us to over turn the will of the people their has been some people that were Raided and have been set Free because of the C.O.A. opinion about us

we will be back inn Court soon i hope we can fill that court room up we will need all the support that we can get we need to show the Juror who we are

 

Yep, I believe you will have many good humans there to support you both!courtroom.jpgcourtroom.gifandy-griffith-2.gifmatlock_court2.jpg

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Well here is my input the plants were locked up they know it the fact is they were 2 locks the front door witch they (Leo) broke down to get in because they had no warrant

and a lock on the bedroom door

we are more then happy to let all this go

Torey says( i want my life back)

 

P.S you can keep the plants all 21 of them

 

 

 

 

Bob I dont blame you or torey for wanting it just to be over!

 

It is realy sad! like they wore ya down, just leave me alone and Ill forget all the damage LE has done, not to mention having to move, emotional stress!

 

I like what the attny says on here, sue sue sue!

 

I forsee all being dropped and them making up for damages! :money:

 

and you and torey getting your live's back tenfold!

 

Happy New Year Brother!

Peace

FTW

Jim

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We have to keep the media honest in its reporting on those who are being persecuted in Michigan but in particular Joakland County. I keep seeing reports about B&T that are quoting what the police have said but not the truth about their case.

 

Here's an example highlighted in red text and there was only one post defending B&T when I read this earlier.

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/01/oakland_county_legal_cases_may.html

 

More than two years after Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana, a series of legal cases involving Oakland County could help shape application of the law for years to come.

 

While Michigan's law allows registered patients to use the drug, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and several local municipalities have banned or regulated it.

 

That disconnect has led to various levels of enforcement and regulation, and many Oakland County leaders are calling on Lansing to clarify the situation.

 

Jan. 3, Hometown Life: "The law is a total mess," said Bloomfield Township attorney William Hampton. "The Legislature must do something about this. It's such a poorly written law."

 

It's an issue that needs to be worked out between local municipalities, counties and the state legislature in 2011, said state Rep. Vicki Barnett, D-Farmington Hills.

 

She said there has been some talk among Oakland County officials and a bipartisan group of Oakland County state legislators, but nothing has been ironed out to clarify the law or the wishes of the voters. She hopes to see the issue addressed in 2011.

 

But absent action from Lansing, it could be up to the courts to resolve a number of outstanding interpretive issues stemming from arrests and regulations in Oakland County.

 

Are marijuana dispensaries legal?

 

Under the orders of Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Oakland County authorities in August raided a medical marijuana dispensary in Ferndale and arrested nine people. While the defendants are accused of various drug-related crimes, Bouchard and County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper have both suggested such clinics are illegal, despite a local ordinance allowing them. Michigan law allows registered caregivers to grow up to 12 plants each for as many as five patients but does not indicate whether they can grow or sell their product in a shared space.

 

Have some Michigan municipalities taken regulation too far?

 

In part due to confusion surrounding the state law, several Michigan municipalities have attempted to ban or highly-regulate medical marijuana at the local level. While state law trumps local ordinances, enforcement typically occurs at a local level, and critics say some cities have denied residents easy access to the legally-recognized medicine.

 

The ACLU of Michigan last month filed a lawsuit against Livonia, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, arguing city ordinances effectively banned medical marijuana. Separately, two Oakland County attorneys filed a lawsuit against Bloomfield Township for an ordinance prohibiting marijuana growing and requiring patients to register with local police. "We think the township ordinances are not only unconstitutional, but they directly conflict with the state law that was passed by 63 percent of the people," said Neil Rockind.

 

Does the 'inartfully drafted' legislation trump other state laws?

 

Robert Redden and Torey Clark were arrested for growing marijuana at their Madison Heights home in 2009 shortly after registering but before they'd received their state ID cards. Authorities say they possessed too many plants and didn't keep them in an enclosed, locked facility as required.

We all know those are lies!! they were under plant count, you don't need your card to be legal, LEO needed a battering ram to break in sounds pretty freaking secure and locked to me.

 

A lower court initially dismissed the charges, but Michigan Appeals Court Judge Peter O'Connell agreed with a decision to reinstate the charges and warned Michigan's "inartfully drafted" medical marijuana law needs changes. In fact, he suggested all Michigan citizens avoid using marijuana or risk violating state law. The case is now heading to Michigan Supreme Court, and the couple's defense attorney has called on the judiciary to resolve "beleaguering" interpretive issues.

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just curious, how are other laws viewed in the sense of allowing or not allowing certain things. If its not explicitly regarded as "not allowed" or "illegal" how can something be construed as against the law.

 

Its like saying sure you can do something, but sometimes its illegal, the law says its legal, but we know illegal when we see it. How am I supposed to know which is which?

 

also, is there any way to prove bias in decisions by a judge? seems like the cities want these proceedings to happen in oakland county and I am wondering why? is oakland county more harsh when it comes to marijuana?

 

it just drives me crazy that I went through this entire process (getting my MM card, securing medicine, etc..) and I am still open to legal action from the state....Bob and Tory, you guys have been put through the ringer just for the state to prove a point. I wish I had the means to help you guys out, if I happen to win the lotto consider yourselves taken care of...

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OK I will say this one more time: THE FEDERAL LAW IS WHAT'S MESSING UP OUR MM LAW, THAT'S WHERE WE NEED TO PUT THE PRESSURE ON, IMHO. I'm not yelling, just speaking in a very firm voice. A LOT of trouble would've NEVER happened IF fed law at least acknowledged MM as a legitimate medicine. That's the beginning and end of it as I see it. There are many conditions that could be tested IF the feds rescheduled it so there'd be funding for research, I know there's studies being done somehow despite this, and of course other countries have proof, this has gone on long enough- far too long, there's plenty of proof, TONS of proof.

 

Also we have to prove the law IS well-written. As others are saying, make sure the facts are reported correctly, too. I've seen some reports that really should be responded to. We need a short, to the point fact sheet to send. I'm tired of seeing all the claims of how vague the law is, we know they're just saying that to be an excuse to mess with it. This needs to be made very clear and everyone should have that info. LEO can't keep using ignorance as an excuse, if WE have to know the law, SO SHOULD THEY. End of discussion, period.

 

Sincerely, Sb

Edited by Silverblue
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"An undercover narcotics officer admitted he used a phony Michigan medical marijuana identity card to make purchases at the clinic, which was raided by an Oakland County Sheriff's SWAT team in late August. The officer said he got approval from his superiors at the Sheriff's Office and from the Prosecutor's Office before making the card."

 

They are soooooo messed. Hahahahahahahahahahhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

 

The language is, in fact, quite artfully drafted. It is what is keeping the muffin makers awake nights, and hand wringing and whining during the day. It is clear to the point that the silly billy mutant wannabe homo-sapiens cannot get past the clarity found therein, and are working their asses off to vilify every aspect they can. It is nothing short of wiiiild amusement to watch these lost souls.

 

Gotta love it.

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"An undercover narcotics officer admitted he used a phony Michigan medical marijuana identity card to make purchases at the clinic, which was raided by an Oakland County Sheriff's SWAT team in late August. The officer said he got approval from his superiors at the Sheriff's Office and from the Prosecutor's Office before making the card."

 

They are soooooo messed. Hahahahahahahahahahhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

 

The language is, in fact, quite artfully drafted. It is what is keeping the muffin makers awake nights, and hand wringing and whining during the day. It is clear to the point that the silly billy mutant wannabe homo-sapiens cannot get past the clarity found therein, and are working their asses off to vilify every aspect they can. It is nothing short of wiiiild amusement to watch these lost souls.

 

Gotta love it.

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"An undercover narcotics officer admitted he used a phony Michigan medical marijuana identity card to make purchases at the clinic, which was raided by an Oakland County Sheriff's SWAT team in late August. The officer said he got approval from his superiors at the Sheriff's Office and from the Prosecutor's Office before making the card."

 

They are soooooo messed. Hahahahahahahahahahhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

 

The language is, in fact, quite artfully drafted. It is what is keeping the muffin makers awake nights, and hand wringing and whining during the day. It is clear to the point that the silly billy mutant wannabe homo-sapiens cannot get past the clarity found therein, and are working their asses off to vilify every aspect they can. It is nothing short of wiiiild amusement to watch these lost souls.

 

Gotta love it.

Amen Brother!!!!!!!!

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Bob I don't blame you or Torey for wanting it just to be over!

 

It is realy sad! like they wore ya down, just leave me alone and Ill forget all the damage LE has done, not to mention having to move, emotional stress!

 

I like what the attny says on here, sue sue sue!

 

I foresee all being dropped and them making up for damages! :money:

 

and you and Torey getting your live's back tenfold!

 

Happy New Year Brother!

Peace

FTW

Jim

 

i have to Thanks are Lawyer again for staying with us Rob Mullen and Matt for helping us with out them we would be locked up already and thank you Jim for your kind words also

and yeas we want are life back but how good will it be Torey will be in the nut house be for this is over thats why am so upset it's her more then me am so worried about

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We have to keep the media honest in its reporting on those who are being persecuted in Michigan but in particular Joakland County. I keep seeing reports about B&T that are quoting what the police have said but not the truth about their case.

 

Here's an example highlighted in red text and there was only one post defending B&T when I read this earlier.

 

http://www.mlive.com..._cases_may.html

 

More than two years after Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana, a series of legal cases involving Oakland County could help shape application of the law for years to come.

 

While Michigan's law allows registered patients to use the drug, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and several local municipalities have banned or regulated it.

 

That disconnect has led to various levels of enforcement and regulation, and many Oakland County leaders are calling on Lansing to clarify the situation.

 

Jan. 3, Hometown Life: "The law is a total mess," said Bloomfield Township attorney William Hampton. "The Legislature must do something about this. It's such a poorly written law."

 

It's an issue that needs to be worked out between local municipalities, counties and the state legislature in 2011, said state Rep. Vicki Barnett, D-Farmington Hills.

 

She said there has been some talk among Oakland County officials and a bipartisan group of Oakland County state legislators, but nothing has been ironed out to clarify the law or the wishes of the voters. She hopes to see the issue addressed in 2011.

 

But absent action from Lansing, it could be up to the courts to resolve a number of outstanding interpretive issues stemming from arrests and regulations in Oakland County.

 

Are marijuana dispensaries legal?

 

Under the orders of Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Oakland County authorities in August raided a medical marijuana dispensary in Ferndale and arrested nine people. While the defendants are accused of various drug-related crimes, Bouchard and County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper have both suggested such clinics are illegal, despite a local ordinance allowing them. Michigan law allows registered caregivers to grow up to 12 plants each for as many as five patients but does not indicate whether they can grow or sell their product in a shared space.

 

Have some Michigan municipalities taken regulation too far?

 

In part due to confusion surrounding the state law, several Michigan municipalities have attempted to ban or highly-regulate medical marijuana at the local level. While state law trumps local ordinances, enforcement typically occurs at a local level, and critics say some cities have denied residents easy access to the legally-recognized medicine.

 

The ACLU of Michigan last month filed a lawsuit against Livonia, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, arguing city ordinances effectively banned medical marijuana. Separately, two Oakland County attorneys filed a lawsuit against Bloomfield Township for an ordinance prohibiting marijuana growing and requiring patients to register with local police. "We think the township ordinances are not only unconstitutional, but they directly conflict with the state law that was passed by 63 percent of the people," said Neil Rockind.

 

Does the 'inartfully drafted' legislation trump other state laws?

 

Robert Redden and Torey Clark were arrested for growing marijuana at their Madison Heights home in 2009 shortly after registering but before they'd received their state ID cards. Authorities say they possessed too many plants and didn't keep them in an enclosed, locked facility as required.

We all know those are lies!! they were under plant count, you don't need your card to be legal, LEO needed a battering ram to break in sounds pretty freaking secure and locked to me.

 

A lower court initially dismissed the charges, but Michigan Appeals Court Judge Peter O'Connell agreed with a decision to reinstate the charges and warned Michigan's "inartfully drafted" medical marijuana law needs changes. In fact, he suggested all Michigan citizens avoid using marijuana or risk violating state law. The case is now heading to Michigan Supreme Court, and the couple's defense attorney has called on the judiciary to resolve "beleaguering" interpretive issues.

 

Thanks for your support Ed and yes they were locked up we all know it and so do they this has never be about us and i hope to get people at are court date soon lets fill the room let them know who we are and don't be afraid of us

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