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 420leaks 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/

FEBRUARY 2022 UPDATE

Man sues Auburn after police commit hit-and-run in Federal Way

The lawsuit alleges the city is responsible for the victim’s injuries.




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

Corporate Control vs Compassionate Use

By John Novak
Written July 19, 2015

It has been incorrectly argued by large corporate interests that no more than 150 or so varieties of the cannabis plant handled by one or two corporations will be enough for every health condition.

This argument is inaccurate as it clearly lacks the most basic horticultural knowledge of maintaining an expanding, dynamic gene pool.

Access to stabilized varieties, especially heirloom and landrace, provides a large gene pool for horticulturists worldwide.

One real world sad example outside of cannabis is the Cavendish banana. Lack of genetic diversity has placed this kitchen favorite in a precarious position, and the danger posed to its continued existence by disease is well documented.

Patients rely on a large variety of varieties being made available because of the unique properties of each plant’s phytocannabinoids & terpene content.

Not only is each variety different, but each plant is unique.

Over time, the desirable genetic qualities break down and access to a large gene pool is mandatory for the ongoing science of finding variety to condition match for the best possible relief or potential cure.

While stabilized varieties offer the best for medical purposes, the cloning of female plants off a stabilized mother will not stop genetic degradation over time.

New seeds and people to breed them will always be needed to perpetuate the existence of stabilized standards and new varieties.

Even the “small guy” in his own basement, garage or backyard horticulturist makes a contribution to the continued existence of the species.

That is why in the present age we have all the wonderful varieties of flowers, vegetables, fruits, trees and shrubs available for use today.

That is what will be needed alongside “mom & pop” businesses and even the bigger corporations.

More so than most plant consumer groups, cannabis patients need control over who grows their plants and how they do it.

This is critical for those who can’t grow it themselves due to financial, health or residential restrictions.

Those who want more direct control over the varieties and the types of fertilizers and pest control methods need home horticulture, designated providers and the ability to participate in non-commercial, non-regulated collective horticulture with other patients, family and friends.

Having direct interaction and commerce with commercial horticulturists is also helpful in acquiring seeds, plants and low cost, high quality products when no other option is available.

One of the biggest arguments patients and medical cannabis advocates have used in the past to keep home horticulture within local laws is the cost of production.

Patients can grow the plants together or by themselves for less money than what the commercial industry is charging.

This argument is starting to be defeated is some areas, like Canada, that are considering having insurance companies pay the costs so it’s even free or next to nothing and still shut down home horticulture.

We are now left with having to defend ourselves over why we need to save the compassionate use model.

And that is maintaining and expanding the variety of choices to match the personal conditions that current world-wide market makes available.

It is so important to preserve because big corporations can never match that kind of need for everyone.

They’ll be able to work alongside and even take advantage, but never completely monopolize.

It’s just too personalized.

The more the science on the endocannabinoid system and the entourage effect of phytocannabinoids in whole plant therapy and medicine advances, the more it is realized how many conditions cannabis safely and effectively treats.

All adult use, especially the elderly, can be seen as a medical/therapeutic preventative, intended or not, in relation to US Patent #6630507, awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services, which states, “Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.

Even if a person believes they using cannabis for “recreational” purposes, the bottom line is that varieties have different effects on the user.

That is the point of compassionate use: more choice of effects means a greater chance for superior effective relief, cure or prevention of disease.

Using the same math probability of less choice of available varieties means less chance of superior effective relief. .

It is clear to those who look at the math with an unbiased view: a good match is possible at 15000+ choices where limiting that to 5, 6 or even 800 choices insures that some patients will not get superior effective relief, prevention or cure of their disease.

It is already happening in Washington State where medical shops that provide a vast variety in a near free market are being closed down in favor of the over-regulated I-502 “recreational” shops.

Patients are beginning to give anecdotal evidence that they can not find the same variety and find this out for themselves without knowing the math, they are not getting good enough relief.

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, Articles 4 and 28 gives allowances for Industrial, Medical, Horticultural and Scientific uses of cannabis.

With this knowledge in hand, the term “illicit” defies common sense in relationship with the use of cannabis for adult use or a superior and effective relief, prevention or cure, especially when it has never been the direct cause of death in all of recorded history.

This is why the laws must change and the species itself protected from over-regulation and monopolization schemes.

In today’s world of on-demand consumerism, we must not so easily forget the decades, and in many cases thousands of years of history of selective breeding.

There would be no named varieties of flowers, trees, veggies, fruits and herbs that bless our society today if those that came before us had such apathy.

We can not give up on protecting and expanding the vast genetic heritage simply to line the pockets of a few who have no sense of integrity on this issue.

In his own words: WSLCB Officer and Whistleblower John Jung

NOTE FROM 420LEAKS: After hearing his testimony in front of state legislators in March, we decided to attend Officer Jung’s court hearing in his lawsuit against the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) in June.

We wish to thank Officer Jung for having the courage to come forward and take his battle to the courts. Although he lost in Pierce County Superior Court, we hope he appeals the ruling as his evidence is overwhelming, to say the least.

We have started a new folder on the 420leaks database specific to his case. New files will be added as they become available. You can view those files here, including the transcript of the last court hearing.

Having said that, we wish the agency would be disolved or just go back to being a commercial regulatory agency and stop trying to become police officers.

We have watched the WSLCB beg the state legislators for full police powers after i502 passed in 2012. The legislators turned them down every time. Now they have a dubious win in court.

It changes the nature of the agency relationship to their licensees and the public in ways we did not vote for with our medical or adult use cannabis laws.

It is well beyond time to remove it from the controlled substances act completely.  And to take this out of the hands of this agency completely.

The story told by Officer Jung emphatically shows us the level of corruption on the inside, and it begins at the top levels of leadership.

They are an agency that has found itself on the receiving end of a cash windfall, thanks to cannabis regulation and enforcement. It is time for this state to reign them in, if not completely destroy them by absorbing their duties into the other regulatory, without the police state goon squads.

What happens if one of these officers who don’t have the proper training has a weapon accidently discharge, or worse, actually shoots someone?




In his own words: WSLCB Officer and Whistleblower John Jung


I’ve been a liquor enforcement officer (LEO) for the past 11 years with Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB).

However, in recent years, I have noticed what I consider to be unethical and unlawful acts against the public; from inconsistent application of rules to preferential treatment of licensees, but the most notable problem being LEOs without proper police training being passed off as if they are peace officers, contrary to the requirement of RCW 43.101.095.

After Citizen Review Panel investigation into WSLCB’s problematic enforcement activities, it was concluded that WSLCB needed to apply more consistent enforcement practices and meet the state law enforcement training standards by enrolling all new LEOs to the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (known as BLEA) at the Criminal Justice Training Commission.

This was a part of the accountability assessment from the investigation findings. WSLCB acknowledged that more consistent standard training will result in more responsible LEOs for the division. With funding approved, WSLCB initiated BLEA training for all new recruits.

Unfortunately for WSLCB, between 2002-2007, retention of LCB officers who had completed BLEA training had a critically high turnover rate during that period of 43 officers, nearly 50%.

In fact, nearly 80% of the candidates left the agency with full law enforcement credentials to go to other agencies for better working conditions and pay.

To evade this problem, WSLCB simply changed the training requirement to an abbreviated 440-hour version of BLEA or sent recruits to Idaho police academy, which limited LEOs ability to transfer as laterals to other agencies.

Essentially WSLCB created a sub-standard police training for recruits, thereby not meeting the requirement of being Washington Peace Officers (RCW 43.101.095) but yet calling them peace officers.

Soon after Washington state privatized liquor sales and legalized marijuana, the agency met with many challenges to this new role and responsibilities, according to an internal agency document.

Legislatively, the agency attempted year after year to expand LEOs authority including “grandfathering” existing LEOs to peace officer status in order to alleviate these legal challenges.

Unfortunately, it never gained enough support to expand and legalize LEOs as peace officers.

However, in late 2017, the agency, without legislative action, implemented policies not only identifying LEOs as peace officers but also encroached into general authority law enforcement activities.

These troubling actions have left me with doubts about the agency’s integrity, including misinformation in LEOs annual performance evaluation forms which indicate as if LEOs attended and completed BLEA training regardless of their previous training records.

Anyone in the public who gains access to these files will assume all LEOs are peace officers since the documents note completion of BLEA training.

This is nothing more than a deception.

Although many LEOs are aware of this troubling decision by the agency yet many remain silent in fear of retaliation.

I, too, could’ve remained silent about this action and allow this agency to continue to misuse its authority against the public.

However, my personal integrity is greater than the fear of retaliation and that’s why I’ve decided to speak out in order to hold this agency accountable and transparent because the public deserves more.

My claim against the state isn’t about me wanting more training, rather it is about an equal opportunity of training like other LEOs, but more importantly it is about following the law, RCW 43.101.095.

As an enforcement agency, LCB has the obligation to be held at higher standards when it comes to respecting and enforcing laws of this state.

-John Jung, WSLCB Enforcement Officer

View his testimony in front of the Washington State Legislature in March 2019 starting at about the 25 minute mark.