I suppose it was only a matter of time, given that this sort of thing has happened everywhere pot has been legalized for medicinal purposes…
On Wednesday night, two medical marijuana dispensary in Ferndale and Waterford, Michigan, were raided. Interestingly enough, Ferndales mayor was surprised by the raid, citing the fact that Clinical Relief (the city’s only licensed dispensary) was in “full compliance” and that there had been no complaints, “zero problems” with the clinic.
One man who called a local talk-radio show this morning witnessed the raid on his drive home from work. He said he thought it was a hostage situation or something, and didn’t learn the truth until he read about it in the paper yesterday. According to his account, law enforcement was in full commando attire with ski masks and automatic weapons.
Ryan Richmond, co-owner of Clinical Relief, described the raid thusly:
They had patients on the ground. There were cancer patients on the ground, senior citizens on the ground and staff on the ground. They raided all of our partners’ homes while their kids were home. They were taking their TVs like we were drug dealers.
Allegedly this raid had to happen because the dispensary may have been distributing reefer to people without the proper paperwork (a claim that the owners deny). So, this is essentially a licensing issue — and it’s now OK I guess to send SWAT teams for that. There is no indication in any of the sources I’ve read to suggest that they were backed by a violent gang of uzi-wielding rastafarians, or anything else that would warrant assault weapons and commando attire.
…I heard them say they want a test case. That’s what a detective said at the store.
A “test case”. That makes sense in light of Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard’s vendetta against the demon weed. As I’ve noted previously (see here) Bouchard is not at all interested in the will of the people when his own personal agenda is at stake, and he has said as much. In a better world it would be grounds for popular revolt, but at the very least should be grounds for immediate dismissal. But I digress.
Citing an (admittedly) unscientific poll when this was still a ballot issue, I said at the time that Bouchard’s outpsoken disregard for the will of the people is evidence that he has somehow managed to lodge his head inside his anus. Then, in November 2008 when the ballot initiative legalizing pot passed by an overwhelming margin, the people spoke with what little voice the system allows them.
It’s not about what the people want. It’s not about the public welfare. It’s not really about addiction, dependency, or gangs, or any other side-effect of the war on drugs. It’s about power. And Bouchard, like other petty tyrants, doesn’t want to cede an inch.
I wouldn’t doubt for a second that Bouchard staged a raid like this, for the purpose of obtaining a “test case”, either to directly challenge the law, or more likely as a show of force and exercise of dominance, a masturbatory display of power-tripping ego.
Thomas Smith suffers chronic pain from two deteriorated discs in his spine, he says marijuana helped him end an addiction to prescription painkillers. “Those drugs kill people. It’s the drug companies who are the drug dealers,” he said, lamenting the fact that law enforcement treats people like him as criminals.
The real criminals are all around, Thomas. They just happen to be wearing the deupty’s brown uniforms and driving squad cars.