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Saginaw Recall Effort Fails Over Medical Marijuana

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SAGINAW — Medical marijuana patient Edwyn W. Boyke wanted Saginaw County Sheriff William L. Federspiel voted out of office, but an attempt to put a recall before voters has come nearly 20,000 signatures short.


“It shows that people support what I’m doing overall,” Federspiel said. “It is an endorsement of the people that what I’m doing is right.


“I don’t want people thinking that I’m against the medical marijuana law. I’ve always said we’re going to enforce the law to the letter. So as long as people are within it, I’m good with it, but when they step outside, I have to take action.”


Saginaw County Clerk Susan S. Kaltenbach said the 180-day recall window for the petition filed on May 24 closed Dec. 6.


Within that time frame, Boyke, 65, of Saginaw Township had 90 days from the first signature obtained July 1 to collect 21,313 signatures — 25 percent of the more than 85,000 voters who cast ballots in the November 2006 governor’s election — to have the recall proposal added to Saginaw County election ballots in May.


Boyke, whose home Drug Enforcement Administration agents and sheriff’s deputies raided April 15 because he was believed to have violated marijuana laws, said he collected fewer than 2,000 names.


Boyke said he discontinued his petition effort in mid-August at the request of his attorney, he said.


David J. Smith, a then-23-year-old Saginaw Township resident, filed the petition,

Federspiel RecallView full sizeJeff Schrier | The Saginaw News David J. Smith, of Saginaw Township, right, discusses his recall petition with Ed W. Boyke Jr., 65, of Saginaw Township after a clarity hearing at the Saginaw County Governmental Center. Smith is organizing a recall petition against Saginaw County Sheriff William L. Federspiel. Boyke, who grows medical marijuana, had his home raided by the Sheriff's Department in April. The language of Smith's recall petition was approved Wednesday morning at the clarity hearing and he can now begin to collect signatures.

alleging Federspiel improperly drove a Ford Mustang he seized from a convicted drug dealer for personal use.


When Smith said he couldn’t continue the recall effort, citing job obligations, Boyke took over.


“Actually, I doubt without David’s help that I would have gotten all the signatures,” Boyke said. “I needed David’s help.”


The Saginaw News could not reach Smith for comment.


Boyke has said he grows medical marijuana to smoke as treatment for pain stemming from a back injury.


Deputies seized plants, marijuana and other property from Boyke’s home and destroyed his basement grow operation — a practice the department later discontinued for marijuana patients in favor of instead seizing the equipment.


Boyke said he paid the county $5,000 for the return of his seized Chevy Impala, landscaping tools, a flat-screen TV and other items.


The DEA hasn’t indicted Boyke but still possesses four of his guns — a collectible “old Russian gun that you can’t even buy parts for,” a shotgun and two rifles, one with sentimental value — Boyke said.


Boyke admitted to having more plants than the state statute allowed but claimed the surplus consisted of clipped clones, not mature plants.

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