Today HB161 was killed in committee and a sub-committee was appointed to pass a reform bill although there is a good chance 161 will go to the floor soon. The committee deadlocked 6-6, but it will likely be blasted to the floor anyway.
ATTENTION PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS:
I’ve received word that there are at least 7 confirmed federal raids going on in Montana RIGHT NOW on large caregivers. Please report any activity to 406.890.3845 or Americans for Safe Access 510.251.1856. If you are in custody, you can also call that number collect. These are federal raids so there is NO legal protection. Prepare to be in custody for at least 72 hours. Request that an attorney be present for any questioning as everything will be used against you. Other than requesting an attorney, please remain silent. Be aware that homes are often raided as well and be conscious of anything federal agents may find in your home.
We will continue to update this post as we receive information. Be safe out there caregivers and patients. Comply with the law, as vague as it is.
UPDATE VIA NORML Montana:
:06PM – Americans for Forfeiture Reform is covering the story and sharing valuable info on asset forfeiture: http://forfeiturereform.com/2011/03/14/breaking-dea-raids-in-montana/
5:58PM – We’re told that in some raids, federal agents took everything, including lights and ballasts and other equipment.
5:56PM – We’re told that DEA and FBI agents are still hanging around the Good Medicine dispensary in Columbia Falls, and have blocked anyone from pulling into the parking lot. Northern Lights, 4 Seasons, and CEG reportedly shut down.
5:51PM – The U.S. Attorney overseeing the raids is the Financial Litigation Unit Chief.http://www.mbcc.mt.gov/resources/directory/federal/dir-d-usattorneys.asp
5:47PM – We hear that Outlaw Hill Health in Livingston was also a victim of the raids.
5:08PM – $456,000 worth of marijuana confiscated from one location. http://www.cnbc.com/id/42078047
5:00PM – We received a phone call from criminal defense attorney Craig Shannon who offered this advice for everyone: You are not obligated to answer any questions. You are not obligated to let anyone in without a warrant. You are not obligated to consent to any search. Even innocent questions like “Are you a caregiver?” or “Are you a patient?” are parts of an investigatory strategyand can and will be used against you in court. Once given, you cannot take back your answers. It might feel uncooperative to assert these rights, but it’s actually patriotic. Call your local lawyer to discuss.
4:37PM – We’ve been contacted by Americans for Forfeiture Reform. Victims of these raids should all contact them as well.
:20PM – A mix of terror and rage evolves into disciplined and focused resolve across the state.
3:47PM – Big Sky Patient Care and MCM in Bozeman raided, DEA news release to become available soon: http://www.kxlf.com/news/update-law-enforcement-converge-on-montana-medical-marijuana-businesses/
3:16PM – “They’re seizing everything – plants, marijuana, grow equipment, files and computers.” –http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_eae07e58-4e7d-11e0-aa23-001cc4c03286.html
3:08PM – If you have been raided or arrested, FAX a copy of the warrant to ASA at: 510-251-2036
3:04PM – We’re told that A Kinder Caregiver has been raided, and that at least some of these raids are of the “smash and grab” variety, with all cash, cannabis, and computers confiscated but no arrests made.
2:46PM – GF Tribune reports 8 people in handcuffs at Montana Cannabis in Helena.http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110314/NEWS01/110314019/Four-Montana-medical-marijuana-business-raided
Received a report that Sweetwater in Missoula has been raided. False report
2:30PM – Received a report that Four Seasons Gardening and Northern Light Medical (Kalispell) have been raided by federal officials and served warrants for money laundering.
2:20PM – Received a report that Yellowstone Patient Care in Billings is being raided. And Montana Cannabis’ store in Missoula.
2:08PM – Good Medicine Providers in Columbia Falls raided.http://helenair.com/news/article_6f5888e6-4e75-11e0-b983-001cc4c002e0.html
1:57PM – ASA is collecting reports from anyone who has been raided: 510.251.1856 or toll-free 888.929.4367
1:49PM – Just got a call about a raid in the Bitterroot somewhere. Trying to get confirmation.
1:45PM – So far we are hearing rumors of the following being raided by DEA, ATF, and local law enforcement officials:
- Montana Cannabis in Helena: http://www.kxlh.com/news/law-enforcement-converges-on-medical-marijuana-business/
- MCM in Belgrade/Bozeman
- Reverend Chachi in Bozeman
- Big Sky Patient Care in Bozeman
- An unnamed Flathead grower
Helena IR has this:
Federal agents and local authorities have raided medical marijuana operations in four Montana cities.
Authorities from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, Lewis and Clark County and Helena police watched over at least eight people in handcuffs outside Montana Cannabis west of Helena Monday afternoon. The greenhouse is the length of half a football field and packed with marijuana plants.
A spokeswoman in the U.S. attorney’s office in Montana says the federal agents executed search warrants that are under seal.
Montana Cannabis co-owner Christopher Williams told The Associated Press that raids were taking place at other businesses he co-owns – Big Sky Patient Care in Bozeman, at MCM in Belgrade and Good Medicine Providers in Columbia Falls.
A bill that would have repealed the state’s medical marijuana law stalled in a Senate committee Monday.