Southwest Michigan- Law Enforcement is at it again in Southwest Michigan. Members of the Berrien County Narcotics team, in coordination with SWET (Southwest Enforcement Team), a multi-jurisdictional drug team that is managed by the Michigan State Police, are using forged medical marijuana cards to entrap and intimidate legal caregivers and prevent legal medical marijuana medical patients access to their medication. A notable account on record involves a legal caregiver and patient we will call Victim 420 and how undercover LEO are using social networking sites to appeal to and entrap productive law abiding registered voters and citizens.
Victim 420 is a legitimate Michigan medical marijuana patient as well as a caregiver and activist. Victim 420 was approached on face book to provide marijuana to an acquaintance as they “really needed meds.” Victim 420 replied that he would be unable to help without legal Michigan medical marijuana association paperwork and patient card. No further communication on the topic was had.
Several months later ,Victim 420 was approached by the same individual now claiming to have a Michigan Medical Marijuana card and in severe need of medication. Victim 420 met with the individual and reviewed his identification as well as medical marijuana card. At this point Victim 420 advised “the Individual” about care giver options. Victim 420 allegedly provided “the Individual” with roughly 7 grams of medical marijuana receiving reimbursement for costs, a legitimate transfer as allowed in the Michigan medical marijuana act.
Ten days later Victim 420 repeated the transaction with “the Individual”. Several months after the second transaction, Victim 420 received a phone call informing him that he was listed on crime stoppers. Learning he has been charged with two counts of delivery of marijuana, Victim 420 immediately contacted his legal counsel and turned himself in to authorities. Victim 420 posted bond, and attended a hearing where he was ordered not to use Medical Marijuana. Victim 420 having been found guilty of nothing has essentially and ultimately been forced back onto three 30mg OxyContin a day. Victim 420, being forced back onto the pharmaceuticals, suffers the related side effects including but not limited to nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, dizziness, headache, lethargy, sweating, and itching which diminishes his quality of life.
At the hearing, where Victim 420’s legal counsel made several valid arguments citing protection under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA), no consideration was given based on medical need or the legalities of the MMMA. The prosecuting attorney claimed he would make a motion to disallow any mention or use of the MMMA in Victim 420’s defense.
The only defense Victim 420 has is based on medical necessity as outlined in the MMMA. Based on the wording of the MMMA, Victim 420 never would have transferred marijuana at all, to anyone other than a licensed medical patient.
“the Individual” ,as it turns out, was a member of the Berrien County Narcotics team (working in coordination with the Southwest Enforcement Team and managed by the Michigan State Police )posing as a legitimate medical marijuana patient , his fictitious, fraudulent and counterfeit medical marijuana certification card was provided by the Michigan state police for the sole purpose of entrapment and intimidation of caregivers attempting to stay within the legal confines of the current interpretation of the MMMA.
It is important to note, Victim 420 never at any time pursued or initiated contact nor showed any rush or hurry in any way was seeking out “the Individual”. As a matter of understanding and respect for the MMMA, Victim 420 in fact, explained costs to “the Individual”, advised on various caregiver options, reminded “the Individual” not to break the laws as they relate to MMMA and provided insight into interpretation of an ATF memo regarding guns and medical marijuana patients. “the Individual” made overtures about how he would like to “sell to his friends” and Victim 420 adamantly and curtly explained that plan did not fit within MMMA guidelines and Victim 420 “Would want no part of that” These statements; admissions by/to “the Individual” and refusal to break the law by Victim 420 were captured on video surveillance by the Berrien County Narcotics team (working in coordination with the Southwest Enforcement Team and managed by the Michigan State Police ).
Like many others, Victim 420 is fighting for not just his own rights but the rights of all patients and caregivers. While Victim 420 feels this is a grave injustice, he does not have the resources to fight this fight alone. Victim 420 and many like him need the community to spread the word and help raise awareness of the scare tactics perpetrated by law enforcement with the sole purpose to maintain the status quo
Victim 420 does not feel he will get a fair trial and certainly does not intend to quietly be hauled off for a crime with no victim (other than himself). Many people within the MMMA: patients, caregivers and their loved ones feel that actions by the law enforcement community such as these are a shake down and entrapment, scare tactics to keep the medical marijuana community marginalized and in the shadows. These are actions designed to keep medical marijuana a street drug and not a legitimate medical tool that brings relief from a variety of symptoms and improved quality of life to a large number of productive law abiding registered voters and citizens.
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