US charges 6 with selling Ore. medical marijuana – Seattle Post Intelligencer

Posted on: May 2nd, 2012 by admin No Comments

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Six men have been charged in the first federal prosecution in Oregon of medical marijuana growers, accused of growing much more pot than patients needed and conspiring to sell the excess on the black market.

The arrests follow harvest-time raids in Southern Oregon last fall when federal agents ripped out hundreds of plants with backhoes and hauled them off in dump trucks.

The government said the haul was 4,000 pounds.

Federal authorities have complained that pot grown under the state’s medical marijuana law has been turning up as far away as Florida. An affidavit filed with the new charges says some of the pot involved was sent north to Washington state.

The six are accused of conspiring to grow and distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana from four gardens in Jackson County.

“We would hope that this sends a message and has a deterrent effect on other would-be drug dealers who would operate under the medical marijuana law,” U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said.

Oregon’s law allows users of medical marijuana to designate growers who can supply them with up to 1.5 pounds a year.

A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration affidavit filed in federal court said medical marijuana growers in the Southern Oregon use drip irrigation, fertilizer, support structures and harvest techniques to grow plants ranging from 6 to 10 feet tall and, at the allowed rate of six plants per patient, yielding much more than the state law allows.

The affidavit said agents dried and processed a few plants from last fall’s raids, with yields ranging from 5 to 11 pounds each of marijuana bud.

Growers and medical marijuana advocates say the raids had an impact. State records this spring showed that the number of gardens planted to supply multiple patients will be down markedly, especially among those growing for 15 or more people.

Two of the six suspects made initial appearances Tuesday in federal court in Medford: Michael Grantski, 50, and Clifford Ruhland, 32. Two more were expected to appear Wednesday, and the final two later this week.

Arraignments for Grantski and Ruhland were scheduled for later in May. A federal public defender who represented them Tuesday did not immediately return a call for comment.

Go here to read the rest: US charges 6 with selling Ore. medical marijuana – Seattle Post Intelligencer

Bookmarking Tools

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

PO Box 15213, Scottsdale, AZ 85267, (602) 315-8808