Medical marijuana 'compliance checks' anger citizens
Posted by Americans for Safe Access on March 13, 2012
Paul Boerger, Mt. Shasta News
He said the Sheriff’s Office will abide by doctor recommendations for marijuana amounts and that any misinformation put out by deputies and detectives will be corrected. Lopey stated in an interview earlier this week that cooperating with deputies doing compliance checks is completely voluntary. (See Lopey's full response in the blue column to the right.)
Earlier this month, Dunsmuir residents reported that Sheriff’s deputies, in some cases accompanied by a detective, made unannounced visits to their homes, knocking on doors and stating they were there at the direction of the Sheriff.
Without producing warrants, the deputies and a detective dressed in full camouflage were reported to have requested to see medical marijuana recommendation cards, asked to photograph the cards, requested and photographed identification, asked to view the number of plants in possession and, according to several people who experienced the visits, advised people on what medical conditions marijuana may or may not be used for. Citizens said they were also being told that if they donate marijuana to the local collective they will be prosecuted for narcotics violations.
The city of Dunsmuir passed a marijuana cultivation ordinance that went into effect in August of 2011 that severy restricts cultivation within the city limits.
Proposition 215 legalized marijuana for medical use in California in 1996. Senate Bill 420 amended Prop. 215 in 2003 including setting limits on the amount of marijuana that may be in possession for medical use.
The courts, however, overturned several provisions of SB 420 including possession limits saying that a Proposition may not be legally amended except by a vote of the people.
The federal government, however, holds marijuana illegal for any purpose and does not recognize state laws allowing medical marijuana use. A court ruling in 2008, City of Garden Grove v. Superior Court of Orange County, requires police officers to uphold state not federal law.
None of the people interviewed for the story were shown warrants or were told that their cooperation was voluntary.
Reports from citizens
Leslie Wilde, owner of the medical marijuana Green Collar Compassionate Collective in Dunsmuir, said she received a compliance check visit from deputies Feb. 29.
“Officer Gilley and detective Jones came into the lobby of the collective. They told me Sheriff Lopey had asked them to do a compliance check,” said Wilde. “They told me they were checking on other known growers. They said that medical marijuana was OK for cancer, but not for carpal tunnel.