More to come later, but we wanted to get a quick link up to bring attention a lawsuit filed in Federal Court a few weeks ago by Christopher King and John Novak vs the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board, Governor, State AG, US AG and ONDCP over the problems with the toxicity within the agency and ultra vires activity (acting or done beyond one’s legal power or authority).
While in traffic along SW Campus Drive around the 200 block in Federal Way, he heard a siren and saw lights in the rear view mirror to see an Auburn SWAT Police van racing up, so he tried to pull forward to the right to get out of the way.
Unfortunately, he was unable to get all the way over, and the van struck his truck in the back, then sideswiped it and raced off, basically a felony hit and run by the officer in the police van.
Manning went on to tell Changing Planet News that he tried unsuccessfully to report the incident to the Federal Way Police dept, the town where the accident with the Auburn PD Van.
“I went and tried to file a complaint, but the clerk refused to believe me. She said there was no way a cop would do that.”
At his insistence, he filed a report anyway.
He then tried to get help from a local attorney who refused to look into it, basically stating the same as the clerk at the Federal Way Police Dept. He doubted Mr. Manning as well.
However, the report Manning gave appears to have disappeared, and the file created for the incident shows that no further investigation appears imminent. Case closed.
Mr. Manning then contacted the news media and was given the same response as the clerk at the Federal Way police station and by the attorney. In other words, nobody would believe a cop would run after hitting his vehicle.
420leaks has learned through a public records request to the Auburn Police Department that not only did the incident in question take place, but fault is is admitted to by the officers after the fact.
We can only imagine what would have happened to Mr. Manning if the roles were reversed and it was him who struck the police van. No expenses would have been spared to track him down and bring him into custody, even if it meant the use of deadly force.
It now appears the Federal Way PD declined to investigate or prosecute and instead handed it back to the Auburn PD to investigate themselves.
While the accident may have been understandable since the officer was on his way to a domestic dispute call, the behavior by authorities and the treatment of Mr. Manning after the fact shows that not only do the police have to change their culture, the attorneys representing victims of police abuse must change as well. The press as well.
We will continue to update this story and hope Mr. Manning gets fair compensation for his damages.
John Novak contributed to this story
Black Entrepreneurs File Federal Lawsuit Against U.S. Attorney General For Discrimination in the Cannabis Industry
Our independent research here at 420leaks goes beyond and shows an agency and state leaders that risk losing it’s entire licensing scheme, the billions in sales and taxes, subjecting it to further loss by individual or class action lawsuits due to this toxic culture.
Kind of ironic for an industry now recognized by these same politicians as “essential” during a pandemic.
I 502 has been a nightmare for me,” stated Barfield.”
“I did not support I 502 but I knew it would be the death of medical so I tried to move forward under that system. I had no idea that I was in for such a financially devastating experience.’
Their group has been lobbying the WSLCB and the state legislators for years to get the black and minority communities to have equity in the industry.
I-502 was sold as a way for medical providers to turn their operations into regulated businesses. That regulation was supposed to grant access to economic opportunity.
Barfield told us, “Instead the WSLCB has regulated us out of an industry that we built. This system has almost completely excluded African Americans.”
He also stated, “During the application process they denied Peter and I due process by arbitrarily moving our qualifications around and then even enforced rules that didn’t exist to disqualify us.’
“The most disturbing and frustrating thing is that after denying our applications the WSLCB approved a white woman from Peter’s Medical Marijuana Collective Garden for a license, with the exact same paperwork.’
The state made an effort to bring collectives under the larger I-502 model in 2015 legislation in spite of bitter protests from the grassroots community thaat sprung up around medical cannabis..
Jung filed a lawsuit against the agency for failing to give him and other enforcement officers the full peace officer training and certification while also allowing a toxic work environment, giving many officers guns and badges. In other words, they are not police officers, yet they are acting like it.
After describing Jung’s story to the House Public Safety Committee Chair Rep. Roger Goodman in a lunch meeting last winter, we were informed the WSLCB was asking for this authority in legislation he was then considering for the 2020 legislative session that ended in March this year.
It was not until a pile of search warrants obtained from the WSLCB by 420leaks, including raids on patients in their homes into Rep. Goodman’s hands that we all realized the gravity of the situation.
Not only does the agency have under-trained and under-certified officers being given guns and badges without being peace officers, but they have also been getting search warrants signed by judges and raiding people in their homes and businesses!
The agency has been conducting these criminal investigations on marijuana cases when they only appear to have regulatory authority on i502 licensees and registered patient cooperative gardens and others.
In one case from late last year, Levi Lyon and his girlfriend had their bus seized by the agency. They did it because his girlfriend offered to share a hit with undercover WSLCB officer. The hit was from her own personal amount that was purchased legally from an I502 shop.
His full story and request for help from the community is found here.
The WSLCB is doing these criminal investigations and raids with the cooperation of other law enforcement agencies, while at the same time are asking the legislators to give them authority to do these things.
The most recent bill requested by LCB asking for authority to investigate criminal matters on marijuana, tobacco and vapor products was House Bill 1626. The bill was introduced in the 2019 legislative session and carried over for consideration for the 2020 session. It never moved through the process.
This means as of this writing, it appears the WSLCB still has no statutory authority.
They also asked for the mutual cooperation authority to work with other law enforcement back in 2015 with House Bill 1537 and were denied for that as well by the legislators. They still do not have this authority, yet they are doing it anyway.
Part of the problem with this toxic police style culture is that WSLCB contracts with a 3rd party called LEXIPOL for writing their enforcement policy.
LEXIPOL writes policy nationwide for mostly police agencies. The agency is failing to amend these policies to match their agency regulatory authority. Rick Garza and the board have failed to reign in the overreach.
This leads to confusion between the Chief of Enforcement and the enforcement division unsure of what their boundaries are when you have policies that contain full criminal law enforcement policy.
He told her they need to get these out of those officers hands. She replied, “It is going to happen.”
So on Feb. 25, 2020, Novak begged the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee to please fix the toxic culture and take the guns away from those uncertified officers at a public hearing on a bill for social equity in cannabis licensing the WSLCB had requested, House Bill 2870.
The state is negligent to say the least. What happens if someone gets shot, or even just an accidental discharge?
This is a complete fiasco and lucky this has not happened to date that we are aware of.
In our independent review, we have concluded the state should strip the guns and the LEXIPOL strategies, abolish the board and current executive directors and terminate the employment of the heads of the enforcement division.
Our state should hang it’s head in shame at the failure in leadership.
This falls directly on the hands of two other offices in Olympia.
Jay (Inslee) and Silent Bob (Ferguson) are a joke when it comes to Washington State cannabis laws and our constitution and protecting the right of individuals.
One would have thought the legislators would reign in this corrupt agency after the courts found 17 violations of the Open Public Meetings Act back in 2014. They were caught by open government and public records researcher Arthur West by holding secret meetings with law enforcement, substance abuse and other insider stakeholders. He eventually settled the case with the agency for nearly $200,000 in 2015.
That means more money to pay confidential informants and undercover cops who prey on people over Facebook and other social media, or by joining groups and going out and using cannabis with them.
It is time for new leadership and an end to this horrific war on the cannabis grassroots community by state and corporate creeps and their tax payer funded goon squads. 100+ years of targeting good people over a plant is a national disgrace and the true reefer madness.
“Governor Inslee and the state leaders here have failed to fulfill their responsibilities to implement a fair & equitable cannabis regulatory system to ensure equal access to economic opportunities and provide equal protection under the law for all members of our community,” said Barfield.
It’s true. Just ask the state legislators. They have openly told us this has been a corrupt agency since it began in 1933! We aren’t reporting something new. But it is newsworthy since it appears nobody seems to be willing to hold their feet to the fire.
This is worse than legalization. It is a stab in the back in the name of progress. It is taking away our constitutional rights and hoping you’ll smoke too much to care.
Let’s not forget this once our lives go back to normal in these trying times.
(John Novak and Aaron Barfield contributed to this article)
In Washington State, our Liquor & Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has developed policy to tap into people’s cellphones instead of just calling them up over regulatory compliance issues.
311.3.1 RESTRICTIONS ON CELL SITE SIMULATOR USE “An LCB Enforcement Officer may only install or use a pen register, trap and trace device or cell site simulator device with a supporting court order or when there is both coordination with a prosecuting attorney and joint determination of probable cause to believe an emergency situation exists that involves immediate danger of death or serious bodily injury to a person. A court order must be obtained within 48 hours after installation of the pen register, trap and trace device or cell site stimulator device when an emergency situation exists (RCW 9.73.260)”
Seattle, WA — Members of a group called Black Excellence In Cannabis filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month against Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) for what they see as state officials running a corrupt and discriminatory licensing and regulatory scheme in the guise of a legal recreational cannabis industry.U.S. Attorney General, William Barr is also included as a defendant, as the U.S. federal government has been acting as an accessory by funding Washington State to enforce federal laws while regulators operate and profit from an illicit licensing and taxation racket at the expense of African Americans’ Constitutional Rights.
Constitutionally protected Civil Rights at the center of this suit are; Title 42 US Code § 1981, 1983 and 1985.
Plaintiffs Aaron Barfield and Peter Manning are turning to the U.S. federal courts for justice after years of working for inclusion for African Americans in their state’s lucrative recreational cannabis market.
They have pled their case in administrative proceedings, meetings with WSLCB Executive Director Rick Garza and Board Members Jane Rushford, Ollie Garrett and Russ Hauge. Also, in meetings with multiple public officials and state legislators, at public hearings and finally granted an audience to plead their case directly to Governor Jay Inslee. All to no avail.
“What we have in Washington is a system where wealthy white men have performed a hostile takeover of our State’s entire cannabis market,” said Manning.
Minorities and Medical Cannabis activists who are on the frontlines of the fight for cannabis legalization are almost entirely excluded from the legal market.
“Washington has a strong and diverse cannabis community. Participation in the economic opportunities generated by the regulation and sale of cannabis should be inclusive and reflective of that community,” said Barfield, who also acts as the current director of Black Excellence In Cannabis.
Blacks were arrested at four times the rate of whites for cannabis violations yet only own and operate less than 1% of Washington’s licensed cannabis businesses.
Many may be inclined to believe that the Plaintiffs are just disgruntled failed applicants who were unable to transition from the unregulated world of medical cannabis providers, to the regulated, WSLCB, seed-to-sale traceability system and meet their compliance requirements.