Unfortunately, what happened to medical marijuana patient Edward Boyke, Jr last month in Michigan is hardly an aberration as NORML still receives calls and emails nearly every day from lawful medical marijuana patients being terrorized by local and federal drug agents, often destroying their legal supply of medical cannabis and cultivation equipment–effectively making the arresting cops prosecutor, judge and jury.
Thankfully, in Saginaw Michigan, post this embarrassing incident with Mr. Boyke, police seem to now ‘get it’.
Only patients and advocacy groups (like the nearly 30 NORML chapters in Michigan and other pro-reform organizations in the state, such as Americans for Safe Access) are working to keep law enforcement honest and respectful of the needs of medical cannabis patients.
Question: Is the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department and DEA going to compensate Mr. Boyke to the tune of $7,000 after they illegally destroyed his private property?
Medical marijuana grower releases photos of basement after police visit; Saginaw County sheriff’s officials say destruction policy will change
By Gus Burns
The Saginaw News
May 20, 2010
SAGINAW — In response to the new medical marijuana laws, Saginaw County sheriff’s deputies will discontinue their policy of destroying grow equipment when they serve search warrants at the homes of medical marijuana patients or caretakers, Saginaw County Sheriff’s Detective Randy P. Pfau said.
“Instead of destroying property, we’ll take everything in a forfeiture and let a judge make a decision on whether they’re allowed to have that property back or not,” Pfau said.
The second look at the policy is a response by the department to the public concern regarding action taken by deputies and federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents in the basement of the home owned by Edwyn W. Boyke Jr., 64, of Saginaw Township, Pfau said.
Police raided Boyke’s home on April 15, because they say he violated drug laws, and destroyed his grow operations, which Boyke said cost him $7,000.
“It’s so new to us, this new law, so we’re acting on protocol that’s been in place… forever with manufacture of marijuana,” Pfau said.
Pfau said the old norm was to take a portion of the grow equipment to present as evidence and document with rest with photographs and inventory sheets, so they didn’t need to confiscate sometimes large setups.
Because the possession and farming of marijuana is no longer inherently illegal, due to the new state medicinal laws, Pfau said deputies will adjust their procedures.