Archive for Washington State Liquor Control Board

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

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.

Officer Testifies on Toxic Culture, Corruption Within WSLCB

Can’t believe this didn’t make the news. On March 19, 2019, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Officer Officer John Jung exposed corruption at a public hearing in front of the WA ST House Commerce and Gaming Committee, fears retaliation to the point of hiring an attorney to help him. Start watching from the 25 minute mark…
https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019031223

Hey i502! Your Genetics Are Crashing!

When i502 was first implemented years ago, licensed producers were allowed a very limited window for new licensees to obtain genetics, basically a 15 day window where the state promised to “look the other way” and allow for i502 producers to obtain their genetics, basically by any means.  Once that window closed, the only way for a licensee to obtain a new strain would be finding them from other producers.

That window is now completely closed.

So now even legislators are starting to notice. I had a meeting with one not long ago who told me they have not smoked in many years, but went and purchased some “top shelf strains”. In their own words: “I barely felt anything. This is not what pot used to be like even 3-4 years ago.”

Time to open the window. In fact, break the damn window.

I warned the WSLCB and legislators in detail, both in writing and in person, about this back in 2013 that closing access to new genetics would cause problems.  Creating a new license specific to breeding seeds and having an open window for these breeders to obtain genetics from anywhere in the world could help alleviate this problem.

By the way, homegrowers would love to help breed. Home horticulturists have contributed many new varieties of plants of all kinds throughout history. Many flowers, trees and shrubs that we see in garden nurseries were first developed by hard core gardening geeks and nerds at home.

We need access to the worldwide seed market to keep the genetics strong!