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City of Emeryville pays man $15,000 for marijuana

Via Drug Sense (Thanks, Allan):

James Blair, a spinal injury patient arrested on marijuana cultivation charges in 2003, received a check today from the City of Emeryville for $15,000 for marijuana seized by the Emeryville Police Department. Assisted by the patient advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Blair received one of the largest cash settlements to date in a case of wrongful police action in regard to medical marijuana. The City of Emeryville has now adopted a policy of not confiscating medical marijuana from qualified patients who show a valid medical marijuana identification card or doctor’s recommendation.

Nice.
However, there’s also this breaking news from an Oregon attorney (again, thanks Allan):

Received a call around 5pm today from a patient/caregiver/person responsible for the grow site that police were there wanting consent to look at the garden. Turned out police were part of ROCN, the Regional Organized Criminal Narcotics Taskforce, including Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sherrif and a DEA agent.
Law Enforcement said that if consent were given to inspect, and if the garden was out of compliance they would seize the excess and no arrests would be made. Consent based on this condition was granted.
Although the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program had told the police that 7 people had their gardens registered there, paperwork provided at the scene demonstrated that 3 designated caregivers each were caring for 3 patients each, justifying 56 mature plants and 162 starts or seedlings. Fewer plants than these numbers were observed at the location.
The DEA agent, however, was instructed to seize all the plants which he had observed as a part of the conditional consent given. The patients/caregivers advised this agent that they were co-operating, but that they wanted a search warrant so that the federal magistrate was aware that the garden appeared to be in compliance with state law.
The decision to seize the plants was made by the Assistant United States Attorney in charge of drug prosecutions for the District of Oregon, John Diets. Notwithstanding my request of law enforcement on the scene, he refused to speak with me about his decision.
To their credit, Portland Police Bureau officers and the Multhnomah County Sherrif refused to participate in the search and seizure of the medicinal garden and left the scene. DEA agents required the patients/caregivers and I to leave while they awaited the warrant.
More information to be provided, as it develops.

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