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Prominent Medical Marijuana Defense Attorney, William McPike's Home Raided by Sheriff's DepartmentJoy Graves Salem-News.com Cannabis De-Classified
Busts on medical marijuana patients have not ended, though many may be fooled into thinking so.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Prominent medical marijuana defense attorney, William McPike opened the door of his residence Friday morning to find a dozen uniformed Madera Deputy sheriffs waiting on the other side. Madera County is located in California's San Joaquin Valley.
Sgt Larry Rich, who had just gotten out of a white unmarked vehicle, brandished a search warrant and demanded access to McPike's home.
Deja vu ...Earlier in the week, Sgt Rich had made an appearance at the same location, but without any paperwork.
On that day, he took the liberty to unchain the gate and drove his unmarked car onto the private property. McPike was present at the time. The Sergeant claimed that he was doing a "compliance check" on the private collective garden.
He had no warrant. Still, McPike provided his proof of Medical Marijuana legitimacy, his California state ID card and California Department of Health medical marijuana card and corresponding documents acknowledging his status and the other collective members as medical marijuana patients and membership in a private collective.
The main member is an amputee and a Director of a Veteran's non-profit charity involving service dogs. She has a California doctor's recommendation, which has an allowance of cultivation of up to 500 marijuana plants.
This meeting did not settle the County cop's thirst for a "big" collar.
On Friday, police returned with a warrant in hand. The warrant alleged that McPike was participating in felonious activities on the property and was intending to commit more felonious offenses.
Friday's warrant was not offered by Sgt Rich but by MADNET Team Sgt Bradlee Dorr, who had not been present for the compliance check.
The warrant gave the cops the ability to break into any safes, take computers, and all other information they found interesting including High Times magazines. According to Mr. McPike, this is not what one does to an attorney, who has confidential client records.
McPike has been practicing law for 35 years and consults for 420 College.org, an educational institution that instructs cannabis businesses on the ways in which to legally operate collectives and cooperatives with California laws - ironically, exactly the hot water he now finds himself in.
"I was told first that I was violating a zoning ordinance and then told I was violating an electrical code ordinance, when I asked for more information, I was given no further explanation and instructed to not move," McPike said.
Authorities then went out to the garden where they seized approximately 30 plants. However, McPike stated that an officer gave him a receipt for 99 seized plants.
Mr. McPike went on to say that he questioned the officer about the inflated plant count, and was told that they found three root balls intertwined in each cut plant which meant that each single plant was to be counted as three separate plants.
"The officers never tested any of the plants to determine whether they were hemp or cannabis. Sergeant Rich did however, make a point to have deputies put six dried plants in the trunk of his unmarked police vehicle," McPike said.
"I'm well within my legal right to grow my plants as I'm part of a collective. The Madera County zoning ordinance states it is lawful to have plants in a 120 square foot space on private property.
"One member of my collective is an amputee who has to soak in a hemp bath to stave off infection; her doctor determined that she's entitled to growing up to 500 plants annually in order to meet her treatment needs.
"The other paperwork provides each patient with 90 plants, that alone accounts for the mere 30 plants on my property. They brought a criminal warrant to search my residence but when questioned on specifics only said that I was in violation of county ordinances."
"No arrests were made, no citations given, and no fines assessed," McPike said.
Sources: Personal sources; SBWIRE
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