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Oregon Cannabis Activist Indicted for Felony CultivationBonnie King Salem-News.com
“I don’t understand the problem. All of the sacred sacramental plants are legally allowed to exist.” – Joy Graves, recently indicted for cultivation.
(GRANT COUNTY, Ore.) - Long time front-line cannabis freedom fighter Joy Graves has been indicted on the charge of "Cultivation of Marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school" which is a Class "A" felony, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a $300,000 fine. She goes to court for the first time August 19, 2014.
Compared to nearly every other police action regarding marijuana in Oregon, this was an incredibly small bust, though still a feather in the cap of local law officials.
Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer told media that his office was tipped off about a marijuana grow by a Harney County Sheriff’s deputy, who heard about it while at the fuel pumps in the area.
An investigation by Sheriff Palmer and Grant County Dep. Zach Mobley led to the bust taking place on June 17th 2013 at Joy Graves’ property located at 102 Ave. B in Seneca, Oregon.
The officers say they met two men at the property and were “invited into the yard to talk”. One of the two men at Graves’ property, Raymond Martin, has a conflicting recollection. He said that officers were told by him that without a warrant they were not allowed on the sanctuary property. “He says that officers ignored that, as if they genuinely believed it wouldn't matter,” Graves said.
A search turned up 13 immature pot plants, a small amount of dried marijuana and a pipe.
“The plants were less than 6 inches tall," Graves said.
"Not even half of them were planted in the ground before law enforcement jumped the gun and came in for the kill. They ripped 13 plants from the ground, and condemned the remaining ones to roast to death, with their caretakers forbidden to return to care for them."
The officials discovered that the garden was not a registered grow site under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, and the two men are not medical marijuana card holders or applicants in the process of obtaining the cards.
Raymond Scott Martin of Kansas City, MO, and Kenny Sean Walters of Walla Walla, WA. Were arrested at the scene. In addition to the pot charges, Walters was jailed on an outstanding warrant out of Morrow County for failure to pay fines.
Sacramental Garden is Religious Land Use
Joy Graves is the Sachem Healer of the Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC).
She is also ordained in multiple non-denominational religious organizations. Graves was ordained in "The United Cannabis Ministry" of California in 2010, followed by the establishment of her own church (SOJM) in 2011.
Kautantowit's Mecautea's (ONAC KM) authority was entrusted to her by Elder James Warren 'Flaming Eagle' Mooney as of September 1 2013, ordaining her as Sachem Healer.
"As indigenous Native born Americans, it is our birth-rite inheritance to not only utilize all earth-based medicines & sacraments, but it is our obligation to preserve them," Graves said.
Graves is standing firmly upon the "Native American Land Use and Incarceration Act" as well as the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act", along with the 1st, 14th and other Constitutional Amendments, rights and Civil Liberties.
James Mooney, co-founder of ONAC told Graves that it is law enforcement whom have broken the law in this situation, and has stated in an email to her and her potential attorney:
"…a prosecuting attorney anticipating to receive a search warrant and/or to raid any church, the Attorney General, by Law must prove to a judge that said church meets a 'Government Compelling Interest Standard', to be granted a search warrant.” (See: http://nativeamericanchurches.org/religious-land-use-and-institutionalized-persons-act-of-2000-law-september-22-2000/)
If the AG office does not meet this requirement and/or does not provide the judge with the notice that it intends on raiding a church of interest thus ignoring the 'Government Compelling Interest Standard' and raids a church, the Attorney General is in violation of the Church's civil liberties.
Gardening as the Crow Flies
The indictment, obtained on Graves’ birthday, was for a cannabis grow freshly established at one of her three properties in the city of Seneca, Oregon, the one furthest from Seneca Elementary School, located at the complete opposite side of the still incorporated city.
According to "Google Maps", the distance from Seneca School to Graves’ corner lot property is a .3 mile distance which is equal to 1,584 feet. As the crow flies, it may be less.
Distance will prove to be a crucial element of the case as it is based on the "safety issue for the children", but whatever the outcome, the ultimate position for all defendants will reportedly be "Religion".
Graves has spoken to the Deputy Director for the Oregon ACLU, Ms. Jenn Carson who agreed to assist with her Civil Rights Violation case pre-existing this incident against the Douglas County Oregon Sheriff's Department for Religious Prejudice.
"To move forward against my congregation members, they had no choice but to indict me" Graves explained. "Because they knew that I was the authorizing authority for the sacrament garden. Under the federal law it's by my [and James and ONAC's] authority that was supposed to guarantee their rights and protections in tending to the sanctuary garden.”
So, what's next?
Graves is scheduled for her formal arraignment August 19th 2013 at 1 p.m. in the Grant County Circuit Court in Canyon City, Oregon.
Raymond Scott Martin has already been formally charged and is scheduled for a Plea Hearing in mid-September, and Kenny Sean Walters has failed to appear for two court appearances and so currently has at least one warrant out for his arrest.
Both Martin and Walters have already been given court-appointed counsel; Graves has not confirmed whom her legal representation will be.
Graves has no criminal record other than mere infractions for driving without a license.
A former Grant county DA once declared Graves was an "expert witness" when it came to cannabis "from the cultivation to the harvest and utilization". This was stated almost ten years ago, in the very same courtroom she is to appear in on Tuesday, and in front of the very same judge, The Honorable William Cramer.
Graves is confident that justice shall prevail: all charges against her as well as Martin and Walters will ultimately be dismissed.
“It's at what level and cost to tax payers that leaves me concerned,” Graves said. “There was no crime here.”
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