Archive for 420leaks

SWAT Van Hit and Run on Cannabis and Human Rights Advocate in WA State


Auburn, WA:  While the nation roils over the treatment of black people by law enforcement, a case last month shows the struggles faced daily by the community beyond the misuse of deadly force.

On May 15, 2020, Black Excellence in Cannabis member and co-founder Peter Manning’s box truck was struck in a hit and run accident. 

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. 

The files also show photos of the damage to the police van on the passenger side, exactly as Manning described it would be before he even saw the police photos shown to him by us.

After dismissing his uncooperative attorney, Mr Manning is now being represented by Kannin Law Firm out of Burien..

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

Peter Manning speaking for equity in the cannabis industry to the Washington State Legislators in early 2020

Black Entrepreneurs File Federal Lawsuit Against U.S. Attorney General For Discrimination in the Cannabis Industry

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.
https://www.blacknews.com/news/black-entrepreneurs-federal-lawsuit-us-attorney-general-discrimination-legal-cannabis-industry/

The Fight Against Toxicity, Discrimination and Corruption of Cannabis Continues in Washington State

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) had a major independent study of their enforcement division by consulting firm, Hillard-Heintze

Their report, which was released at the end of 2019, showed a toxic culture exists within the agency. You can read it here on the WSLCB’s website.

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.

Aaron Barfield, Peter Manning and several others from Black Excellence In Cannabis based out of Renton, WA have all experienced discrimination in the licensing process. 

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..

They filed a lawsuit against the state and US attorney William Barr in US Federal Court in Washington D.C. over the discrimination within the WSLCB licensing last month.

They plan to use this effort to bring exposure to the corrupt and discriminatory nature of Washington’s cannabis regulatory scheme.

“We have been trying for years to find a solution in Washington. In our recent meeting with Governor Jay Inslee, he used our platform handout as a coaster for his soda can while we plead our case.”

Black Excellence in Cannabis Members meet with Governor Inslee

“This showed us that our only hope for remedy would be to seek protection and relief from US federal court,” said Barfield.

Another case that highlighted WSLCB toxicity came to our attention last spring was JOHN JUNG VS WSLCB filed in Pierce County Superior court.  

We first found out about WSLCB enforcement officer John Jung while listening to testimony he gave about the lack of training and the toxic culture within the WSLCB to the Commerce and Gaming Committee in the Washington State legislature last March.  He wrote a press release for us describing what he is experiencing.

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.

We’ll have more to say on this story coming soon. Check our Facebook page for a sneak peak.

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 first case we found the  WSLCB doing this was in 2017, less than a year after the law from 2015 went into effect in 2016.  It was a raid using a SWAT tank on a registered patient with just 10 plants. Here’s the full search warrant obtained by 420leaks.

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.

They have been asking for this criminal enforcement authority for over a decade, but keep getting denied every year. 

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.

The ACLU went after Spokane PD over LEXIPOL policies a few years back, finding all kinds of issues created by not amending LEXIPOL policy to adapt for our state statutes.

We sent this information to the ACLU (and every other group we could think of). Are they not investigating because Alison Holcomb and the ACLU were the driving force behind behind the I502 initiative? 

We received copies of these  WSLCB policies and you can see the LEXIPOL copywrite on them…

Lexipol copyright on WSLCB enforcement policy

As we reported last month, they have even given themselves the policy for use of cell phone spy technology, like Stingray devices in the search and seizure policies.

WSLCB Cell Phone Spying Policy

We have a records request out now to see if they are actually using these cellphone spying technologies.

Even the Hillard-Heintze independent report for the legislators on the toxic culture released at the end of 2019 referenced these problems with LEXIPOL writing policy for a regulatory agency.


From Hillard Heintze WSLCB 2019 report, page 41

420leaks has now confirmed these issues with the agency during a brief conversation with WSLCB Board Member Ollie Garrett.  

Our founder John Novak spoke to her last Saturday when after a social equity in cannabis licensing event in Seattle, that improperly trained and uncertified WSLCB enforcement officers are being issued guns.

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.

You can also watch Barfield and Manning testimony at the hearing here.

Right after, corporate cannabis lobbyist Vicki Christophersen told him in the hallway that she heard the guns would be gone in 60 days.

So not only is everyone aware of this down there in Olympia, they are going to allow it to go on for at least another 2 months!

However, in public records released since, that even appears to be in question.

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.

The failure of our many in our own community advocacy groups to speak out is just as alarming when you realize cannabis forfeitures are up and our state is #1 in the entire nation in that category by a large margin according to the DEA’s numbers!

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)

Signs Your State Cannabis Regulatory Agency is More Interested in Being a Police Force

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)”

We received this in part of in a file today in a public records request about WSLCB search and seizure policies. Full document available on the 420leaks database at: https://app.box.com/s/wngfvo51soy4d6ph90qbbfyz4r1gmnda

(Photo used from EFF.ORG)

Federal Lawsuit Against U.S. Attorney General, WA State For Discrimination in the Cannabis Industry

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.

For more details about Black Excellence In Cannabis, visit www.BlackExcellenceinCannabis.com

PRESS CONTACT:
Black Excellence in Cannabis
blackexcellenceincannabis@gmail.com

Please Fix the Homegrow Bill in Washington State

As many of you are aware, I have taken a direct role in helping push homegrows for all adults in the state of Washington for more than a few years now. My first attempt attempt at directly writing specific bill language for legislators was for what became House Bill 2629 in late 2015, with the bill appearing in the 2016 session, sponsored by Rep. Brian Blake. He was kind enough to allow me to write several of the key possession paragraphs that made it in to the final language.

Our group here has been the lead on this issue, but in 2018, my health started to deteriorate and was unable to continue the push as directly in Olympia. A new group came around and took the lead. They asked me to participate, so I helped write the policy on the majority of the new language, especially the legal protections for the grower in the latest draft.

Unfortunately, the one key policy that we were pushing for, a change to the drug forfeiture section, was not added to the final draft, despite my clear protests and documented research on this.

So now I will tell you all the same thing I told the last group that asked for my help writing it. Hopefully this will make sense to you all.

The bill is HB 1131 and it has a companion bill in the Senate, SB 5155. It was first introduced during the 2019 session and now carried over to 2020. The flaw is in Section 2 of the bill, specfically at the end of page 6 and beginning of page 7. (see image below)

Fix the entrapment scheme flaw in the forfeiture section at RCW 69.50.505(1)(h)(iii) by raising the commercial limits. 5 plants triggers forfeitures in that paragraph as it is a commercial amount. If you say I can have 6 plants or up to 15 per household, raise the limit from 5 in the forfeiture section as well to reflect that, plus the harvest yield amount!

Here is what current law looks like now…

(iii) The possession of marijuana shall not result in the forfeiture of real property unless the marijuana is possessed for commercial purposes that are unlawful under Washington state law, the amount possessed is five or more plants or one pound or more of marijuana, and a substantial nexus exists between the possession of marijuana and the real property.


RCW 69.50.505
Seizure and forfeiture.

And here is what this bill section amending this part of the forfeiture language looks like. The underlined words are what will be added to the statute by this bill if it passed, and the blue highlighted part is the area of concern:

From Section 2 of the House Bill 1131, pages 6 -7

I am not the first to ask for this. A major law firm asked for raising the limits back when this paragraph was first implemented in 1989! They asked for the numbers to be raised from 5 to 20 plants and up to 2 pounds!

Better minds than mine asked for raising the limits first.

These numbers should have changed when patients were allowed to grow their 60 day supply starting in 1998, again in 2007-2008 when that supply was further defined as 15 plants/24 ounces. It is antiquated, outdated, completely arbitrary to begin with as you can read for yourself from the files we obtained on it at the state archives! They just pulled a number out of their asses and called it good, just like they do with all these plant counts.

So as you can see in the bill’s version, they left the old numbers of “5 plants and a pound or more” in, but added an exception to the end.

The problem is, the old numbers of 5 plants or a pound or more were originally intended to be a PERSONAL AMOUNT too small for law enforcement to worry about diversion to the black market.

So if those old numbers represent a personal amount, then what will those old numbers represent after the bill is passed? Who are these people that will be able to have 4 plants or less than a pound since there is now a clear distinction in this language that will be left behind. Now all a cop needs is an excuse to say your plants were being used in COMMERCIAL ACTIVTY and they can begin seizing it when you exceed 5 or more. Why? Because they don’t need probable cause to do forfeitures! They ignore your “exception” or “exemption from a crime”, so now your plants & stash are CRIMINAL because you had 5 or more!

A much simpler and easier fix is to RAISE THE NUMBERS so commercial amounts are OVER the personal limit. In other words, if you raise the number from 5 plants as the commercial limit to 20 plants, now not only are homegrowers growing less than the commercial limit, but so will the patient community since they can have no more than 15 plants. No extra exemption or exception required! Potential for abuse is dramatically less as long as people do not exceed the commercial limits!

Forfeiture is what they use to come into your home. They find marijuana. Marijuana is an illegal substance. They do not need to prove guilt to seize it. They do not have to arrest you to seize it.

Once that is in their possession, then they start looking to see if arresting YOU is worth their time. Your arrest and prosecution comes after grabbing your assets. So now because of your commercial exemption, the person OVER the forfeiture trigger now has to PROVE they are NOT commercial. Totally different than innocent until proven guilty. Even the labeling requirement on harvests in the bill can potentially be used to infer commercial activity!

Forfeiture is the legal process against your property that ends up in civil court. State cops get cross deputized and can then seize property for the feds, then get back most of it through forfeiture sharing.

Arrest and prosecution is the legal process against you. That happens in criminal court if they decide to press charges.

The homegrow bill touches both of those very different processes. By ignoring one, we are just doing a half-assed job that will be even harder to fix next time.

Meanwhile people will get raided so a whole new precedence can be established. Each county having to create new precedence for their jurisdiction.

So because the homegrow bill is supposed to allow for adults to grow up to 6 plants for personal use, or no more than 15 per housing unit, that means any amounts OVER the forfeiture limit is considered a COMMERCIAL AMOUNT. So instead of raising the numbers in the forfeiture so anyone below would be innocent until proven guilty, they instead gave a COMMERCIAL EXEMPTION, which means you have to prove you are noncommercial! And since forfeitures in Washington State do not require a conviction, they do not need probable cause to seize your plants since you are over the forfeiture amount!

Commercial and noncommercial grows are two different animals. You cannot use a commercial exemption for a noncommercial activity or there will be major issues to personal rights and privacy.

Commercial exemptions do not work for noncommercial activities as the patients in Washington State have learned. Patients are STILL getting raided. Even those on the registry, just like we warned you would happen.

Instead of clarifying the language, the bill created more confusion and will be setting up people who do not understand the law to grow MORE than the noncommercial amounts. 6 plants is more than 5, which is the trigger. 15 per housing unit is obviously way over. Massive potential for abuse here. Every defense attorney, every legislator I talk with can see the abuse potential.


A Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office armored car parks outside the Blaine Library on Wednesday, May 24 before serving a search warrant on G Street. Photo by Oliver Lazenby.

This article from Whatcom County describing a raid over a patient grow was first registered patient we heard about getting raided in their home. They brought out a SWAT team using a search warrant obtained by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board agents. For 10 plants. This was less than a year after the passing of SB 5052, which gutted patient rights.

They use this flaw on patients as well. Having 10 plants put the patient’s grow in the commercial amount of “5 or more plants” in the forfeiture section! In fact, this is why patients who do not register are only allowed to have 4 plants, whereas patients requiring more need to get registered. Why? Because 5 or more plants is a commercial amount!

If this passes as is, 4 plants or less than a pound is STILL the personal noncommercial limit.

Local cops are cross deputized as DEA agents and are there to seize stuff for federal asset forfeiture sharing.

In other words, the local cops are privateers working for the federal government. More like pirates, in my opinion..

Watch this quick video and instead of a car pullover in the beginning of the video, imagine this to be law enforcement going to a homegrow raid:

If you promote it without asking for this fix, especially now you know there is a flaw, I will expose you publicly when people get raided afterward.

Why such harsh words?

Because the DEA cannabis related statistics shows a massive spike in cannabis related forfeitures in the state of Washington! In fact, we jumped from around #10 or so in 2015 to number 1 in the entire country in 2017, constituting almost 50% of the entire country in forfeitures related to cannabis!

That’s less than a year after the massive gutting of the medical cannabis laws in 2016 when Senate Bill 5052 went into effect! Coincidence?

The federal Government Accountability Office also has concerns around this program. Back in November of 2018 they scolded the DEA over the reporting from the states that participated!

It’s no coincidence the state of Washington in 2019 is now debating a bill, SB 6266 over the flaws in the reporting by the state on forfeitures. It is also clearly stated in the latest hearing on this bill that we are, in fact, a state that does not require a conviction!

Pretty simple fix here. As we learned from the past, pass it now, fix it later does not seem to be working for consumers and homegrowers! Especially the minority communities, who will be hit the hardest if this abuse potential continues!

The hard fix is, of course, removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act in both state and federal law and remove the criminal penalties on it. But until then, these fine points are critical!

It should be as simple as the home brew and wine making laws: simple and avoids the limits and forfeitures by focusing on what can be removed from the home…

RCW 66.28.140
Removing family beer or wine from home for use at wine tastings or competitions—Conditions.
(1) An adult member of a household may remove family beer or wine from the home subject to the following conditions:
(a) The quantity removed by a producer is limited to a quantity not exceeding twenty gallons;
(b) Family beer or wine is not removed for sale; and
(c) Family beer or wine is removed from the home for private use, including use at organized affairs, exhibitions, or competitions such as homemaker’s contests, tastings, or judging.
(2) As used in this section, “family beer or wine” means beer or wine manufactured in the home for private consumption, and not for sale.

It’s really that simple! The Federal law sets the easy to understand limits: 200 gallons if there’s more than one person living in the home!

So why won’t the state just remove it from the state controlled substances act and be done with it? Because they don’t want to lose the federal grant money the state is contracted into if our state’s scheduled drugs to be dramatically different than the federal!

Our rights are being held hostage to commercial contracts and they will take them from you to protect that cash! Even if it means taking medical cannabis authorized by a doctor from sick kids in the schools if their money is threatened!

Adding this policy to that 2018 bill for these sick kids was the only way the prime sponsor and all the people behind the effort could get it to pass. This goes to show us that the state agency federal grant recipient lobby group, including law enforcement, is one of the most powerful in Olympia if they can keep sick children from attending school. after all the bills and court rulings that in the aftermath of the McCleary decision stating it was a primary responsibility for the state provide education to ALL children within its borders.

The homegrow bill is now in the House Appropriations Committee after it was recently passed out of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee. You can Watch the comments by Rep. Melanie Morgan in the January 21, 2020 Commerce and Gaming hearing where she also identifies a flaw in Section 1 of the bill that has the potential to prevent many Washington residents, especially the under-represented minority and other disenfranchised communities from even being able to grow to begin with since a landlord could restrict homegrow rights. It will be reserved mostly for the privileged and wealthier landowners instead of those already being ravaged with the abuses of the drug war on cannabis…

(j) Nothing in this subsection (7) prevents or restricts a property owner from prohibiting the cultivation of plants by a renter or lessee upon or within the property under the terms of a rental agreement, lease, or other contract.

Section 1, Page 4, lines 13-16

She also correctly points out that it will be the minority communities who could once again be left out of “legalization” and end up a target in spite of the whole legalization process.

Our group doesn’t care who leads the next homegrow bill effort here in Washington State. We don’t care who you align with. You don’t have to like us. We are not out for an ego boost.

Let’s work to fix the flaws in this bill now. We’ve worked this since 2015 to get this far. Patients will tell you that a “pass it now, fix it later” approach has never worked for us, so let’s not screw this one up when it is not necessary.

How do I know this stuff on forfeitures? One of our co-researchers, John Worthington, fleshed out this flaw and recommended raising the numbers after that first homegrow bill attempt. He was raided over 6 plants by a corrupt drug task force team in 2007.

But also, because I went through both processes acting as my own attorney after getting raided in 2010. They took my plants & stash. They said we had 59 plants, which was technically 1 under our limit back then, as we were allowed 15 per patient with the 4 of us. They did not arrest me until AFTER I tried to get my seized items back in civil court about two months after the raid.

Two years later I was able to get the felony and misdemeanor charges dismissed after successfully lobbying the state legislators in 2010 and 2011 to change the laws. Thanks to the bill writers at the time, you saved our family, and there were a lot of patients released from jail and others who had charges dismissed from all around the state. It was very humbling to meet some of them as they drove to our small ranch to visit us.

You all remember the Collective Garden model that lasted until the laws were changed again in 2016? That was modeled after my noncommercial garden! They only become storefronts because the governor vetoed the commercial model out of the bill, leaving the noncommercial garden model as their only way to survive. Then legislators twisted my collective garden down to 4 patients that must be registered and part of the commercial regulated system, called “Cooperative Gardens” where all patients MUST provide labor to participate. Wheelchair bound? Tough shit, GET TO WORK IF YOU WANT RELIEF.

“The state law helped clarify my situation a lot.  They said a patient can be a provider,” Novak said after the dismissal.

Two years ago, a drug task force raided his Wauconda home and confiscated 59 marijuana plants, and Novak was later charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Novak had a medical marijuana card authorizing him to use the drug to reduce the occurrences of seizures from temporal lobe epilepsy.

He said at the time that two other medical marijuana patients were also living at his residence, and he was growing marijuana for a fourth patient, allowing him up to 60 plants, or 15 plants each.

But Prosecutor Karl Sloan disputed his contention that a medical marijuana patient could grow marijuana for themselves and other patients.

The law itself was unclear, and Sloan agreed to continue the case while the Legislature considered several bills.

Last year the Legislature clarified the law, which now says that patients can also be designated providers, and can participate in collective gardens to provide medical marijuana for up to 10 patients.


 Tue, 03 Jul 2012
Source: Wenatchee World, The (WA)

Here are the last two public hearings on this bill:

House Commerce & Gaming Committee

Jan. 21, 2019 – 1:30 pm

From Jan. 31, 2019:

Senate Labor & Commerce Committee

Jan. 31, 2019 – 8:00 am