Saginaw Cops And DEA Reflexively Destroy Medical Marijuana Patient’s Property

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

Photo taken by Edwyn W. Boyke Jr., 64, of Saginaw Township, after police raided his home and destroyed his grow setup.


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.

92 thoughts

  1. Since when do cops think they’re above the law? Wouldn’t they arrest or give someone a ticket for not following a new law? Him saying that “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,” is unbelievably hypocritical.

  2. “It’s so new to us, this new law, so we’re acting on protocol that’s been in place…” Apparently a medical marijuana license saying they could keep it is so terribly difficult to reason legality. I’m sure a 30 minute class is overkill on how to discern a real medical marijuana license from a fake.

    In fact, as a waiter, there is a book which tells you of the out of state licenses that you are not familiar with. It takes 5 minutes to check. And nothing is lost, damaged or stolen, in the process.

  3. I hope Mr.Boyke sues the P*SS out of the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Dpt. President Obama pledged to stop raids on patients with a medical marijuana prescription. Michigan obviously does not respect the law because it doesn’t suit them anymore. Get ’em Mr.Boyke. Medical marijuana users AND every user of this ancient healing herb back you 100%!

  4. Oh, so, now they won’t destroy your stuff, but they’ll still steal it from you, even if you’re a registered patient who is legally allowed to have the equipment and plants? They will “take everything in a forfeiture and let a judge make a decision on whether [you’re] allowed to have that property back or not”? Civil or asset forfeitures rarely get ‘returned” – Google “Policing for Profit” if you ain’t already hip. They’ll take this property from people still and they’ll never get it back. The only difference is now, instead of it being trash, it will be sold to create revenue for MI. Isn’t that great, everybody?
    They do it – We do it
    forfeiture – theft
    taxation – embezzlement
    execution – murder
    Almost anything we’re not allowed to do, the government is. They don’t even get in trouble when caught, they just get demoted, or have to resign and go work for one of the many giant government companies. You know, when my mom pulled this “do as I say, not as I do” bullshit with me as a kid, I called her out on her hypocrisy. If she was as stern as our government, I’da probably had to kill her.

  5. cops are above the law. they make up the law, there above the law there is no justice unless your rich. that is b.s. as far as what Obama said a politician
    will say anything you won’t to hear until they get in office and then they don’t know you or what they said before. it’s all in all B.S. vote the bums out off office.

  6. Have we not learnt anything from the days of prohibition? By legalizing marijuana not only would it solve the problem of making criminals out of ordinary citizens but it would save the country billions of dollars used to pay the local police and the DEA to say nothing of the cost associated with prosecuting people and incarcerating many of those same people in local and federal prisons. Instead of closing programs in schools and even laying off school teachers states would have enough cash left over to not only fund these programs but have some left to build better schools and pay teacher more money. Save the jails and police to put away real criminals.

  7. # DB Says:
    May 22nd, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Someone invades your home, then shoot to kill. Don’t waste time. Get a gun and protect yourself.
    this is exactly what I shall be doing. If a God Damn cop walks in to my home without me or anyone saying anything I will I promise to blow his or her fucking head off. If they want a war I just got back from Afghanistan I can most definately provide one. I Promise I will take heads if they walk into my home and even think of destroying what I worked my ass off for.Those cops are criminals and will be dealt with appropriately.

  8. So the Feds are targeting Michigan? lol.

    Hey foolish Feds, just for the record: Michigan has gone through an economical structural change and the result is permanent Depression for this state until a new business boom comes along.

    You are killing the only way out for Michigan, and you are doomed to failure.

  9. [My letter to the Saginaw Police]:

    Nice work destroying all that LEGAL medical cannabis equipment. That’s some great police-work there, busting up LEGAL Saginaw operations so violently and pointlessly. Why let a judge decide when your boys can just throw a temper tantrum and destroy it all immediately?

    “waaaah waaaaah but we don’t like the law so we’re going to break things! We smash property!”

    Keep up the good work killing new LEGAL business opportunity, that way you can finally choke your useless, dying city to death once and for all.

    The entire world knows cannabis isn’t an issue, you cops are just addicted to it because it offers limitless opportunity to be completely corrupt.

  10. Somebody is going to have an explosive device waiting for one of those raiders when they come in the home to do that…

    A total violation of this man’s 4th amendment rights protecting him from unreasonable search and seizure…

    Marijuana is a plant…. deal with it!

  11. My wife fell ill about six years ago with ovarian cancer. Being self-employed at the time and not very wealthy, we simply could not afford insurance. We looked on the internet to see what we could find – anything to help my wife. We were desperate. We found cannabis.
    Eventually, I started growing the plant and extracting the necessary oils from the flowers and applying them to my wife’s abdomen. I am no doctor nor am I a surgeon; I simply did what I thought was best. As for the results of our efforts, all I can do is tell you what her surgeon said to me in post-op: “I have been a surgeon for over sixteen years. When I went in to remove your wife’s ovary, I found that the tumor had ruptured. It was gone. I have never seen anything like this in my entire career.”
    Being in a state that frowns very heavily upon cannabis, I felt compelled to keep my mouth shut regarding the oils we had been applying. I know that we shouldn’t have but we were scared of the potential fallout. As it turns out, what I should have told the doctor ought to have been the least of my fears.
    A short time later I happened across a long-time family friend and he related to me that his uncle had lung cancer. I told him of our “discovery.” He said he would like to know more information so I invited him out to my home. To make a long story somewhat shorter, he became “Unidentified Informant Number One.”
    When the “Peace Officers” arrived to serve the search warrant they came in with bullet proof vests, helmets, and guns drawn. Five “Peace Officers” threw my wife to the ground and pointed their guns at her head – she had had her surgery about two weeks prior. When I pointed that fact out to the “Peace Officers,” three members of the “Force” removed themselves from the scene, with one commenting, “I can’t do this anymore.” Unmoved by their colleagues’ bravery, the remaining “Peace Officers” absolutely trashed our home: overturning bookcases; ransacking our filing cabinets; overturning the cat’s litterbox and food dish; kicking and threatening to “kill [my] worthless mutts”; dumping my dogs’ water and food dishes; rifling through our dressers and closets; tearing down ceiling tiles; smashing holes in my walls; rifling through our video collection; confiscating High Times and Cannabis Culture magazines; even reaching in and searching through the rocks in my aquarium; “disabling” any grow equipment that was deemed supplemental to the arrest; “confiscating” some of our product for later “analysis;” and, actually resorting to graffiti on one of my walls. The whole time the “Peace Officers” related to my wife and I what “scumbags” we were.
    After they had their fun, they hauled my wife and I to the local county jail. We stayed there for three days; our animals stayed in the disaster area that was once our home for the entire time as the police refused us to allow anyone to enter our home to remove our animals or even provide for their basic needs. They claimed it was a crime scene.
    I completely understand that American citizens are required to understand the law and what we did was in violation of said laws. We get no free pass if we are unfamiliar with the laws: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” I did eighteen months of a four year sentence, my wife served four years probation.
    However, how can it possibly be that the “Force” whose duty it is to uphold the laws do not have to keep abreast of the current legal atmosphere? It is simply unconscionable that a representative of law enforcement can use the excuse that the “law is too new” to have in place updated protocol.

  12. Holy Smokes. Next time you get pulled over for a tail light or brake light not working will they photograph the tail or brake light and then destroy your car. Is that what we are coming to?

    The Rev.

  13. Regarding Mr. Edwyn W. Boyke Jr., 64, of Saginaw Township Michigan

    The man is 64 years OLD, may I suggest; at that age, he is probably not able to launch such a major “Law/Legal Action”, given his age, his medical considerations, and the cost$.

    I suggest; ‘WE organize and form The Boyke Rescue Fund.

    Maybe NORML can find a good lawyer to take this case.

  14. @ Mark – The worst thing about these corrupt, thieving, prejudiced cops is that there will be no need for most of them soon. Like you said, if they keep killin’ the economy that’s tryin’ to grow out of the ashes, the welfare system won’t be able to support their asses, too. States aren’t able to keep up with the unemployment payouts any more. They keep puttin’ us in prison, that just secures a few more jobs for their private sector security guards, who’s jobs they’ll want next when they’re given a pink slip from the Chief. I often wonder if the shit hits the fan how many police, sheriff’s, state troopers, and military personnel will stand against what is wrong. We won’t be able to do it without a lot of them – if the shit hits the fan, that is… ¦·þ

  15. this goes to show that law enforcements are just wasting more time and money going after medical marijuana users as well as those who choose to use marijuana when those law enforcers can be better put to use to help our nation with more serious problems in stead of wasting taxpayers money and their valuable time. IT IS far over due that marijuana prohibition must end and be taxed and regulated where it will free up the money being wasted as well as allowing the law enforcements to do their job to get worse people off the streets such as drunk drivers and killers to name but a few….. The time for taxation and regulation is far over due and needs to start today . Remember together we can and shall make a difference…

  16. I just read this article, and I gotta laugh at the bull that these law enforcement spoksemen try to throw at the public. The police chief says that his men aren’t used to the new law, so they make mistakes. Unbelievable garbage! I’ll tell you why these disgusting raids continue–it’s not that these “gendarmes” aren’t used to the new law; it’s just that they don’t accept the new law and they despise people that smoke herb. And the feeling is mutual, believe me. WE can’t stomach the William Bennetts of the world, and we’re getting really tired of them.

  17. A new Law my ass, I am from this area and let me tell you medical MJ has been here in the state for over 2 and a half years and this is a constant thing with the saginaw PD and the DEA – This is such bull – saginaw county is known for this and all police in this state are trained about medical marijuana. What a bullshit exscuse…

  18. Obomber lied. As us skeptics said… his non-binding suggestive letter that federal raids stop on medical marijuana related business was a whole load of BS.

    Do you reaaaaaaaaally still think Obomber is going to legalize it in his second term?

    Vote for liberty candidates, the ones who believe in REAL change, and believe in REALLY dismantling the drug war.

    [Editor’s note: Really? Why do you obsessively try to spread your political delusions on NORML’s webpage? Too bad there are no such thing as ‘liberty candidates’ or a ‘liberty party’. There are four basic organized political parties in America in the order of registered voters: democrats, republicans, libertarians and greens. Almost 50% of Americans do not associate with political parties and are often labeled ‘independent’. Rarely, a political candidate who shuns political parties (or, more likely were shunned by democratic or republican primary voters) chooses to run, and win, as an ‘independent’. The current group of people self-identifying themselves as “tea baggers” are not an organized political party.

    Again, there are no ‘liberty’ candidates for voters to select in either primaries or the general elections.

    And there is zero reason to spread the lie that Obama (or NORML, or any drug policy reform group, or the average commentator on NORML’s webpage) claimed that when elected he’d legalize cannabis. About the only thing Obama and company claimed is that federal law enforcement would abate from being involved in aggressive enforcement of federal anti-cannabis laws in states with medical cannabis laws. That has largely happened with decidedly fewer federal raids and prosecutions, and states like CA, CO, MT have seen HUGE increases in retail access to medical cannabis. More states (like NJ, ME, RI, NM and DC) will have retail access very soon with legislators providing approval citing the federal government’s allowing states greater autonomy to create and implement cannabis policies that run total afoul of existing federal laws and supreme court decisions.

    You can be a partisan hack all you want…but there is no reason to spread falsehoods on NORML’s webpage in support of fictional ‘liberty’ candidates or claiming policy statements never made.]

  19. REFLEXIVELY DESTROY is a d.c. lawyer bullsh!t phrase.

    how about adrenalin addiction and destruction with malicious intent of the peaceful?

    how about fascists destroy ……..?

  20. Wow, police love to tear up anything they get a chance to. Can the medical marijuana user sue the police dept of Saginaw? How is this not illegal? Vandalism at least..the police department should have to get money to this man. Emotional trauma, personal property destroyed….this is against the law and the police have no consequence. BS man

  21. Martin luther king said never be violant but when the goverment comes and destroys stuff you can buy leagaly that’s when the buck stops here. let destroy their stuff and maybe they’ll understand thats thier new name is now Goons

  22. How stupid is this chief? How about the fact that he not only admitted failing to provide his police force with adequate training on laws which have been enacted for plenty of time before the incident, he basically tells the press that afterward they will simply “change their policy” regarding the matter. In a nut shell he said, “I am an incredibly irresponsible dumb ass”. The really dumb part of this whole thing is that he actually believed this is better than just admitting that his beliefs that his personal resentment for marijuana justifies their relentless persecution of law-abiding citizens. Malarkey I say!

  23. F!ck the Police!!
    They just think they can do everything!
    Law must change! I’m waiting for changes since.. umm I’m smoking Mary Jane (half a year)…..

  24. I never claimed Liberty Candidates are an organized party, just a collective of candidates who believe in a limited federal government and ending the drug war.

    They are real, and you can view them here:

    If I am breaking your comment policy, please point it out to me and I will stop doing so. Otherwise I am just offering a solution that I feel, in my humble opinion, is a good one. People can make their own decisions. I am sorry if I am breaking commenting rules.

    [Editor’s note: Thanks for the webpage of Ron Paul wannabees…so-called liberty candidates are using the same populist language that then so-called ‘freedom’ candidates (i.e., Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and Tom Delay, etc…) tried using to convince voters in 1994 that they actually supported ‘liberty’, ‘freedom’, ‘apple pie’, kissing babies, etc…). How did those bomb-throwing back benchers come out for the course of freedom and liberty?]

  25. Ok, so my solution of voting for candidates who proudly proclaim that they are A) for marijuana legalization and B) for ending the drug war makes me a partisan hack and somehow I am being deceived. Furthermore, these are candidates that believe the federal government should be limited, leaving the power to the states to decide what is best.

    I am very sorry that I have apparently been deceived, and that I am apparently some naive simpleton and my suggestions are crap.

    So anonymous NORML editor, what DO we do then? Apparently I can not trust candidates who do say they are pro-legalization, pro-states rights (thus for states like Cali who have legalization ballot initiatives). What is your plan?

    Obviously voting for main stream establishment republicans is not the way to go. Are you saying that voting for democrats is the way to go?

    Or are you saying voting isn’t even the way to reform Marijuana?

    I am being singled out from you for telling people about a group of politicians who say they are pro-legalization. So apparently that is bad, and it deserves harsh anonymous commentary from NORML.

    How about you offer me any alternative solution then? Maybe point me in a new direction?

    [Editor’s note: Don’t fall for goofy political stunts from untested candidates who CLAIM to support ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ by simply signing loyalty oaths or pledges. How does one measure if a candidate actually supports liberty?

    If they’re a politician, look at their past voting record and rhetoric. If they’re non-politicians running to be politicians, then the voters are left with not much more than the candidate’s rhetoric and/or messaging to evaluate.

    A cannabis reformer who wants to try to elect cannabis reform-oriented policymakers need not ask politicians to aspire to support abstractions like ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’. Ask, nay demand, of them to support cannabis legalization specifically as proof positive that they do in fact support ‘liberty’ and personal ‘freedom’.

    If they support legalization, ergo, they’re a supporter of freedom.

    BTW, Ron Paul served almost 20 years in Congress before speaking out for personal freedom regarding cannabis, and yet even he did not sponsor legalization legislation, only decriminalization, and only after Barney Frank convinced him to join him in introducing NORML-friendly legislation.]

  26. You really just trashed a 64 year old man’s growing property? WTF, why don’t you pick on someone your own size and go for the REAL DRUGS!

  27. Thanks to my local Fox news for dedicating time to the new study showing a decreased risk of diabetes for “moderate” drinkers!

    This story about the govt lying about cannabis is probably for tomorrow.

    Bless alcohol and all its miracles and joy that it brings every family.

  28. Editor you pulled out Barney Frank? Talk about having skeletons in the closet. I happen to like Mr. Frank but even he can’t be used as a pristine example for all to emulate. I hope you don’t speak for the entire NORML Organization.

    You tell Brian: “Don’t fall for goofy political stunts from untested candidates who CLAIM to support ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ by simply signing loyalty oaths or pledges.” Lmao, I guess Barney has you fooled then? As long as he says he supports the cannabis movement and takes small steps in that direction everything else that he may do behind closed doors is perfectly fine with you isn’t it?

    Editor what you said a majority of politicians do. They have to in order to get the votes they need for election. You must lie to get by? If that isn’t true then why do so many do it? Same sh!t different day! Just depends on what game you play. Quite simply all you can do is give someone the benefit of the doubt and TRUST that they will follow on what they said they will do. If they break any bonds(TRUST) then the TRUST is gone. TRUST is a must. Emphasizing is fun for everyone. Fool me once shame on me. fool me twice shame on you. Good day to you.

    [Editor’s note: The point of mentioning Barney Frank is that it was a liberal Democrat, not a so-called ‘liberty candidate’ that has been behind the push in Congress to reform cannabis laws, not Ron Paul. Where was Ron Paul from 1986-2002 re ‘liberty’ for cannabis consumers? How many bills did he introduce to reform cannabis laws during this time? The answer to both questions is that he (the apparent standard bearer in some people’s minds for all things libertarian) didn’t lift a finger to end cannabis prohibition.]

  29. I live about 30 minutes from Saginaw aka SagNasty. So far in Michigan, I haven’t noticed a lot of people getting harassed by local law enforcement, let alone the DEA.

    Hey, at least they didn’t arrest him. Sucks about the 7,000. I am almost 99% sure the cops are in the wrong here. Never know though, some people don’t follow the rules. I.E. he could have been growing way more than what was allowed. Honestly, 7,000 for a medical marijuana set up??? Under our state’s medi MJ laws… I believe we can only grow like 12 plants max…. don’t see how even a bomb ass set up would run 7k$

    I just can’t wait till its legal overall…. seriously, the movement needs to progress, very soon, into legalization for recreational use by adults.

    for the past decade, us healthy recreation smokers have pushed medi marijuana agendas in hopes it would be a stepping stone to flat out legalization and/or taxation/regulation

    Times are good… shit is stirring

    Go California, Nov 2010!!!! Start the ball rolling towards the East Coast Guys

  30. If every one of us SUE THE PISS OUT OF THEM , THEY WILL START TO GET THE MESSAGE.I’m living in california and found an article about a dispensery owner getting 35 lbs of med. marijuana BACK BY COURT ORDER! WE HAVE TO FIGHT………

  31. I just took a brief look at the wsbsite for the LIBERTY PARTY CANDIDATES that the gentlman BRIAN has linked above. 5 out of 5 of the candidates are republicans or supported by the GOP!!! does anyone remeber who started all the drug testing of federal workers? RONALD REAGEN!!!! What was the policy of the Bush administration?? Not to be rude but lets use our heads here for one moment. Dig deep when researching your candidates. There are already enough SHEEPLE OUT THERE FIGHTING THE TRUTH!

  32. The Obama is turning into a back stabber. He is losing favor quite rapidly. He seems to think that moving next to the Jones in white Washington will make him popular at their parties. wrong!.He should have stayed with us on the left. You now the supporters down by the Lincoln memorial. He has become power hungry. And nothing but blood and sorrow and disappointment will be all he’ll be remembered for. Stop the killing and the death threats of assassination. Start sticking up for the sick and innocent, and stand up for peace on earth. Chain up our military until we have a real threat. Like say North Korea.

  33. My heart goes out to all those who are really sick and using the medicinal marijuana as it is suppose to be used. I look forward to the day when the politicaians and the DEA realize marijuana is not making the country fall apart, they are. Legalize it all let the dumb ones kill them selves, violence will stop, Stupid people will be gone from over doses. Those that are educated know that marijuana is not a gateway drug, the plant alone has so many uses, beyond smoking it. Rope, clothing canvas, bio fuel, better for you than omegas, and the list goes on. Sorry for the man and his wife that had to deal with their house being destroyed, I hope her health is continuing to improve. I have no use for the police and their thug tactics. Go after the real criminals child molesters and murders

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