DEA Raids Humboldt Cannabis Center, Destroys Patients' Medicine 9/18/98

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Dale Gieringer, California NORML

Arcata, CA: Sept. 9, 1998. DEA agents raided the collective
medical marijuana garden of the Humboldt Cannabis Center in Arcata, destroying over 150 plants intended for medical use by its members.

Eyewitnesses report that a team of fourteen agents landed by helicopter at the center's garden last Wednesday, Sept. 9th. Included were four state narcotics agents, who claimed to be observers but participated in destroying the crop. The DEA did not raid the center's office nor arrest any of its personnel. The DEA has staged similar raids against medical marijuana gardens at the San Francisco Flower Therapy club and Dennis Peron's Lake County Farm.

The Humboldt Cannabis Center is a patient collective with over 300 members. It operates in accordance with an Arcata city ordinance which explicitly recognizes the right of patients to form "medical marijuana associations" to help acquire marijuana for themselves. The Center has worked in close cooperation with local authorities, including Arcata police chief Mel Brown, who runs a patient identification card program.

In an effort to cooperate with local authorities, Humboldt Cannabis Center had notified law enforcement of the location of its garden. Insofar as cultivation of marijuana by medical patients is protected under Proposition 215, state officials have no authority to disturb collective gardens. However, DEA agents act under federal law, under which medical marijuana remains strictly illegal. Observers suspect that a disgruntled local law enforcement official tipped off the DEA to come in.

"I guess they'd rather that patients buy on the black market," commented Humboldt Cannabis Center director Jason Browne, "The federal government is promoting illegal drug dealing."

California NORML denounced the raid as an outrageous example of government piracy, noting that the Humboldt center is widely respected as one of the best-run medical cooperatives in the state.

(California NORML is on the web at

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Issue #59, 9/18/98 Shattered Lives Book Offer Continues, Eyegive Participants Raising Valuable Funds for DRCNet | Alert Feedback | Free Will Foster Campaign Continues | Attention Students | DEA Raids Humboldt Cannabis Center, Destroys Patients' Medicine | House Approves Anti-Medical Cannabis Resolution, Patient Arrested For Medicating in McCollum's Office | Medical Marijuana on Ballot in DC | Industrial Hemp Making Strides Worldwide | Methadone Clinic Sues Fairfax Police | Immigrant Children Used to Sell Cocaine in Vancouver's Black Market | Editorial: Whose Privacy?
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