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California Mendocino County Under Medical Marijuana Seige Now
On-going medical marijuana busts through-out Mendocino County have been arresting local residents daily. I was one of five busts made and charged with two felonies (cultivation and intent to sell/distribute) last Friday, February 20, 2009, even though I had my doctor recommendation and was growing with the guidelines published at the Mendocino county web site.
My name is Laurel Krause. Last Friday (2/20/09) as I looked out my kitchen window I was shocked to see 25 Mendocino County Sheriffs/Deputies coming through my gate very quickly. The lead man, Sheriff (don't know deputy, or what class) Jonathan Martin, showed me a search warrant, hand cuffed me and read me my rights. I was cooperative (I actually cried and begged for mercy, but that didn't work) as they searched my home, my grow area on my five acres (behind my locked gate--so no probable cause) and seized all grow equipment related to 24 medical marijuana plants in full bloom. They chopped down the plants and hauled them away as I was being grilled and bullied in my home. This number is significant because if you google the Mendocino County Sheriff's web page on MedMari guidelines it says 25 plants. You are probably aware of the 'fuzziness' of these guidelines. I have a recommendation from my doctor to allow me to grow med marijuana. They charged me with two felony counts, one for marijuana cultivation and another for intent to sell/distribute, carted me to Ukiah, CA to jail in handcuffs.
It gets worse. I was the #4 bust of 5 that day (Friday, Feb 20) and the guys let us know that they had five more for Saturday (yesterday) and five more on Sunday (TODAY!). Not individuals, but actual grows that might arrest multiple people. And most of the growers are women with kids (so now the children are possibly being taken away and bank accounts frozen). Real emotional and economic despair.
As I met others that were arrested in Ukiah, the county seat to jail (never before, first offense for everything for me) I learned they were my neighbors and not one had a 'commercial' size grow. So this Mendocino County Sheriff's dept sweep is coming up short as the take is not producing the kind of busts they claim they are after (i.e commercial, 500 plants & up), unenvironmental grows that scar the land (we all grow organic), we all have our recommendations that we paid for and actually care about the quality of medicine we are growing (it's in the past for me now).
I am in shock, but then I started getting mad yesterday. What is motivating this gestapo situation all of the sudden? DA Meredith Lintott or Sheriff Allman? NeoCons?
I keep to myself mostly so did not hear about this happening all over the county of Mendocino. Furthermore, most growers don't let others know their business so as not to get busted. I'm coming forth as I have nothing to loose and I'm not backing down. I am a little afraid that if this doesn't become a big story that I might be unsafe though..........so bust this story wide open. Help us in Mendo!!!
Since getting busted, I've learned that they were up and down my street (just outside Fort Bragg city limit, so in Mendocino County) busting and getting this sweep in order over the last month and logging on the computer even (wish I had known!). That they have also had busting sweeps in the towns of Covelo, Ukiah, Willits.......all within Mendocino county.
I'm sure you're asking what is motivating me to come to you. This is truly an American story of our time right now, a devestating economic massacre for us personally and it has county-wide ramifications as at least 70% of the Mendocino economy is based on growing marijuana. Maybe even California as it's the state's largest crop. During these times of extreme economic hardship and 10% unemployment in Ft. Bragg, it just doesn't make any sense to be busting and criminalizing tax-paying citizens, my neighbors and me operating within state and county guidelines.
We are considering moving forward with a class-action suit. I have calls out.
I am sounding this alarms as far and wide as I can. Please feel free to forward this to any of your interested colleagues. I hope to hear from you.