cannabisnews.com: Man Says He'll Fight Marijuana Bust










††Man Says He'll Fight Marijuana Bust

Posted by CN Staff on December 01, 2005 at 12:34:43 PT
By Alan Gathright, Rocky Mountain News †
Source: Rocky Mountain News †

Colorado -- Real estate consultant Eric Footer was so convinced Denver voters had legalized adult marijuana possession in the Nov. 1 election that he allowed police to search his car when they pulled him over for an unrelated incident. An officer promptly found Footer's pot-filled vitamin bottle. But this was the day after the city's voter-approved Initiative 100 became certified, ostensibly changing local law to allow adults 21 or older to possess 1 ounce or less of the weed.
Footer, 39, described himself as confused and angered when he was cited two weeks ago for having the pot and a pipe. " 'It's still illegal to possess marijuana in the city of Denver,' " said Footer, repeating the cop's admonishment. "And he said it with real conviction, like I should've known that." As Denver police, prosecutors and city leaders loudly maintained before and after nearly 54 percent of voters approved I-100 at the ballot box, authorities are continuing to prosecute marijuana possession cases under state law, just as they've long done with 95 percent of local pot busts. Now, Footer, backed by marijuana advocacy groups, vows to become the first defendant to legally challenge Denver's refusal to adhere to the legalization measure. Accusing local officials of "thumbing their nose" at the will of the voters, Footer said he'll go to the Denver courthouse today, refuse to pay the $200 of state fines and demand his day in court. A clerk will then routinely set his arraignment for next month, according to court officials. "I was just angry and confused. I didn't understand how the (voter - passed) law could be in effect and not be enforced," Footer said, during a Wednesday interview at a Denver coffeehouse attended by marijuana advocates. "It doesn't make sense. It either is or it isn't the law." Footer's Nov. 17 marijuana violation - coming one day after officials certified the election results - sets up a legal collision between Denver's dueling marijuana laws. On the one hand, there's the new Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative. On the other, state law. It reignites a smoldering debate between the measure's sponsors and elected city leaders and law enforcement officials who strongly opposed the pot initiative and accused its supporters of misleading voters with signs proclaiming: "Make Denver SAFER." I-100's sponsor, Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), drew international coverage for making Denver the largest U.S. city to seemingly legalize marijuana possession by arguing that it was a safer alternative to alcohol, which pot boosters blame for fueling violent crime, deadly auto wrecks and addiction. Footer is turning for legal support to SAFER and another statewide marijuana advocacy group, Sensible Colorado, which backed a losing November ballot measure in Telluride to make adult pot possession the town marshal's lowest priority. "This is about forcing the Denver police and the Denver DA to enforce this law and respect the will of the voters," said Brian Vicente, an attorney who heads Sensible Colorado. "Based on the passage of I-100, Mr. Footer made a reasonable assumption that adult marijuana possession was protected in Denver . . . that law enforcement and the DA would follow the will of the people. "This is a city ordinance now; it's not theoretical." But Assistant City Attorney Vince DiCroce said Denver is enforcing marijuana violations as it always has. "The state law is still in effect and cases will be prosecuted now, just like they were before (I-100), under the state statute," said DiCroce, director of the city attorney's Prosecution and Code Enforcement Section, which is likely to prosecute pot cases. "We're going to just continue to do what we've done." Footer's is among the first of what will likely be a steady parade of pot busts in the new I-100 era. In the two weeks after the Nov. 1 election - but before I-100 votes were certified - Denver police filed 51 marijuana possession cases under the state law, which is the only box officers can check for pot possession in their ticket books. Those tickets were written to users of all ages. Since the measure took effect, police have filed at least a dozen cases for simple possession under state law to those over 21 who would have been protected by I-100. Footer, who's been dividing his time between Denver and Miami for the past year, said he uses marijuana only to ease the pain of three enlarged spinal discs on the advice of his doctor. Footer said he turned to marijuana because his family has a history of addiction and he wanted to avoid using prescription painkillers. Footer's trouble began on a Thursday afternoon when he had a dispute with a motorist whom he accused of nearly running over his foot. He pounded on the car as it pulled off. Then Footer climbed into a car he had borrowed from a friend and drove off. Suddenly, he said, he was surrounded by three patrol cars and about five officers. Footer said police didn't find anything while patting him down. But when police asked if he had a problem with their searching his car, Footer said, " 'No, go ahead.' " "I was under the impression that it was legal to possess (marijuana). If I had known it was not, I wouldn't have had it in the car or even on my person. I would have just left it at home," he said. SAFER Executive Director Mason Tvert said the group's legal team will challenge why Footer is being prosecuted for "making a rational, safer choice to possess a small amount of marijuana rather than alcohol. He believed he had the legal right to do so. "I'd like to keep a tally of how many city dollars and resources are being put toward . . . this crazed criminal (Footer), for simply possessing a tiny amount of marijuana," Tvert said. "We had three police cars, five to six police officers, he's going to have to go to court . . . and take the judge's time, the prosecutors time. It's ridiculous." Pot citations after Nov. 1 51 marijuana possession cases were filed by Denver police under the state law in the two weeks after the Nov. 1 election - but before Initiative 100's votes were certified. Those tickets were written to users of all ages. 12 cases, at least, have been filed by police for simple possession under state law to those over 21 who would have been protected by I-100 since the measure took effect. Note: Voter-approved law legalizing pot crux of Denver case.Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO)Author:  Alan Gathright, Rocky Mountain News Published: December 1, 2005Copyright: 2005 Denver Publishing Co.Contact: letters rockymountainnews.comWebsite: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/Related Articles & Web Site:Safer Choicehttp://www.saferchoice.org/Speakout: Time Has Come To Legalize Marijuanahttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21300.shtmlDenver Is First City To Legalize Pothttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21260.shtml 

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Comment #33 posted by FoM on December 07, 2005 at 16:42:45 PT
MikeC
We just got the DVD of The Ghosts of Christmas Eve and watched it. We are watching it again. It was absolutely fantastic. I just wanted you to know.http://www.trans-siberian.com/multimedia/index.shtml
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Comment #32 posted by global_warming on December 02, 2005 at 05:05:45 PT
A large church bell..
"..hundreds of supporters gathered in Nguyen's home city of Melbourne at a church to mark the moment of his execution. A large church bell rang 25 times - once for every year of his life.At the same time, dozens of people held a silent vigil outside the Singapore High Commission in the capital Canberra."
 Australian warning over hanging
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Comment #31 posted by Jim Lunsford on December 02, 2005 at 00:02:45 PT
Change
There certainly does seem to be change in the air. I wonder how many more people this government will alienate from participating in it by their policies of being incompetent and untrustworthy. These seem to be the main points of argument against the government in all areas of political unrest.How can we trust government? By nature, government is force. A force that always oppresses. Since the Reefer Madness days of prohibition through taxation, our government has managed to prove itself untrustworthy on almost every single level. Their incompetence is proven by the fact that Cannabis is even more popular than when it was deemed illegal. How long will they continue to alienate the people? This would be we, the people. The longer this government structure delays in responding to the demands of the people, the more likely the entire structure of government, as we know it, will be changed. Of course, the word "demands" is instrumental.What is a demand by the people? Is it merely a vote, as in Denver? No! Though that is a part of it all. It is a demand by the people for the federal government to allow we, the people, the ability and opportunity for all of us to exercise our pursuit of happiness.This war on us has been waged at the considerable expense of any civil rights progress. Some would say (ME!) that the Justice Department is the last bastion of Jim Crow Laws in the country. After all, if the use of drugs is consistent across all race/income sectors, then the disproportionate percentage of lower income "undesirable" (read, "not-white") races incarcerated for drug crimes demonstrates the eradication of civil rights in this country. Of course now, we also have the evil "sick" people to wage war upon. The people have spoken by vote, but have they demanded legalization yet? They shouldn't have to, but that would be in a perfect world. One that respected the principles inherent in the tenets of the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States of America. Obviously this government does not respect the rights of those who gave their lives to begin this grand experiment.We, the people, are responsible for this mess. We are the government, Bush is just one person. Our apathy is our societal consent to all of this prohibition. We know, or have the ability, to know better now. So, what are we doing?I will admit, writing in this column is most of what I do to bring about the end of prohibition. Though I also use my economic votes when I purchase items. I prefer hemp and organic items in my food and toiletries. Difficult to buy in some areas, but worth the effort.The people have spoken, but they haven't demanded. Let's hope they don't have to demand. The Declaration of Independence certainly held a violent definition of what constitutes demand by the citizenry. Let's hope we wake up and realize that such violence is only necessary when the citizens are too lazy to think for themselves. Peace, JimRev Jim LunsfordFirst Cannabist ChurchGovernment: Your voice counts as much as anyones'. So, why can't I hear you?
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Comment #30 posted by The GCW on December 01, 2005 at 22:44:01 PT
Lindstrom, for Gov.
It doesnít even have to take a governor to re-legalize cannabis, just a governor that will not stop the movement.
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 22:35:35 PT
The GCW
A related Mark Fiore Political Cartoon called While You Were Sleeping.http://sfgate.com/comics/fiore/
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Comment #28 posted by The GCW on December 01, 2005 at 22:15:38 PT
FoM,Richard,Family,Friends,Activists,NORMLetc:)
The following news is relevant. "Lindstrom to run for governor"Enter radar screens.(It is interesting how everything is reletive, once the word truth is involved.)(GARY KNOWS THE TRUTH! If Gary wants to gain support by speaking the truth; Our issue is one issue the citizens are going to welcome Gary with.  And Gary DOES know the truth about this issue and HAS spoken publically about it; favorably to CNEWSERS.) Gary knows the truth! & Coloraod's largest city just voted to end the sensless cagings!!!!&!Gary knows the Truth! & Colorado farmers -FREE- farmers are prohibited from growing hemp. Colorado should be 1st!!!!! Fing 1st in changing that.Color red O& GreenLike the old school Christmas(No, real old school)It is time to re-introduce hemp as a component of American Agricultur.Lindstrom will change the prohibition laws with farming hemp because He knows the truth and when Colorado farmers know they will be allowed to grow hemp just like communist or Canadian farmers; they will also support Lindstrom!!!!!!!! (He will need the conservative agricultural communities support in Eastern and also Western counties and this is a perfect timing issue that brings the rural agricultural areas together with the front range cities and the mountain communities who know Him)))(This story comes out in the morning; posted on the web-site the night before ...)http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20051201/NEWS/51201003"Lindstrom to run for governor"(Photo included)
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 21:13:56 PT
MikeC 
Thank you for sharing all the great information. If that's rambling please feel free to ramble on. I love music. I love music that just makes me light up for one reason or another. I find that music that I enjoy helps me to connect to my surroundings and tasks I'm doing in a way that only music can do if that makes sense.
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on December 01, 2005 at 20:48:52 PT
Toker00
Your description of your "purty Christmas tree" made me smile. It sounds lovely. I know where your heart is when I hear a Texan say, "It's so purty." And I bet it is, too. I felt your joy.May all your good wishes abound for you, too.
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Comment #25 posted by MikeC on December 01, 2005 at 20:39:58 PT
FoM
It was an adventure. I could go on and on with stories. I left in '93 after guitarist Criss Oliva was struck and killed by a drunk driver on his way to a musical event in Florida. His brother Jon (who sang), guitarist Chris Caffery, bassist Johnny Lee Middleton, and producer Paul O'Neil are touring members of TSO. Three other guys who had stints in Savatage - Jeff Plate (drums), Al Pitrelli (guitar), and Alex Skolnik (guitar) also are members of TSO. There are two travelling troupes of TSO - east and west. I am glad to see that after a few thousand club and small arena shows that Savatage performed that they are finally gaining worldwide recognition after years of struggling....even if it is as another project. I'm very happy for them. Sorry to ramble...I just get excited when I see that they've gained a new fan. 
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 20:16:09 PT
MikeC 
Thank you so much. What an experience that must have been. We are listening to the music right now. We just ordered two DVDs from Amazon. My husband heard them on the radio and he liked the music and so do I now that I have heard them. Happy Holidays to you too.
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Comment #23 posted by MikeC on December 01, 2005 at 20:08:56 PT
FoM
Before I "grew up" I was a guitar technician for the band Savatage that eventually morphed into the Trans Siberian Orcheatra. From 1984 til 1993 I was on the road with them. I highly recommend TSO...they put on a great show and they're a wonderful group of people.Happy Holidays all!
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 19:55:13 PT
Toker00 and Everyone
My husband asked me to look up The Trans-Siberian Orchestra and they have beautiful music and videos online. Happy Holidays. Enjoy.http://www.trans-siberian.com/multimedia/index.shtml
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 18:41:04 PT
Toker00 
Happy Holidays to you too. We have a fiber optic christmas tree. We don't have it up but we plan on doing that this weekend. 
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Comment #20 posted by mayan on December 01, 2005 at 18:39:06 PT
$ ē $ ē $ 
"I'd like to keep a tally of how many city dollars and resources are being put toward . . . this crazed criminal (Footer), for simply possessing a tiny amount of marijuana," Tvert said. "We had three police cars, five to six police officers, he's going to have to go to court . . . and take the judge's time, the prosecutors time. It's ridiculous."And how long did the arresting officer fill out paperwork when he could have been on the streets fighting real crime? Everyone in Denver must challenge their possession charges! Clog up the system and drain it's resources and these arrogant fools will be forced to recognize I-100! Challenge,Sue,Fight! We will not live in fear anymore!!!
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Comment #19 posted by Toker00 on December 01, 2005 at 18:30:55 PT
I should have told you this, too.
Sorry, folks. The protest is at 5pm.FoM, Have a Happy Hippie Holiday Season! I got a palm tree for a Christmas tree! Fibre Optic. It's really fine with the lights out! Added tiny "dancing" lights up the trunk and into the leaves. It's so purty!Faith, Love, Hope, Cheer, Enlightenment, Passion, Compassion, Friendship, Brotherhood, Peace and Understanding to all, for all of Eternity! Happy Holidays, Brothers and Sisters!Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW! 
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Comment #18 posted by cannabliss on December 01, 2005 at 18:11:46 PT
dont give them rope to hang you with
A couple nice links.http://www.flexyourrights.org/traffic_stop_scenariohttp://www.nolo.com/resource.cfm/catID/268BB6A8-8884-4677-89869B6AD8A75ADA/104/143/127/
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 18:03:22 PT

Toker00 
There's something in the air. I feel it too. 
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Comment #16 posted by Toker00 on December 01, 2005 at 17:56:29 PT

Want to tell Mr. Cheney to go **** himself? OT
Coming to Houston:The site of the Code Pink/ISO/PWOC protest against Cheney and DeLay next Monday, December 5, will be at the Westin Oaks Hotel, 5011 Westheimer at Post Oak.Cheney says use torture. I say impeach Cheney and Bush! Cheney is coming here to show support for his Criminal-in-Arms, Tom Delay. We are going to make sure he hears how disappointed we are as constituents of Tom Delay. Then we're gonna let him know how disappointed we are with a crooked Vice-peep who pushes torture as a tool to spread Democracy. Dick Cheney, you are so very, very wrong, and you will hear it from us.There's something brewing in America. Smells a lot like the spirit of massive social upheaval. A lot has already been accomplished by spreading the facts. Now all this planning and talking and discussion about changing laws has started to take on a life of it's own. Feels kinda like the calm before the storm to me. It's almost like the fruits of our labor are beginning to ripen. Not ready to pick yet, but at the point where you begin to day-dream about the taste of that first fresh picked fruit, the ending of Cannabis Prohibition or the standing up of the American people for Democratic Principles instead of being held down and back by Capitalist Greed and Power Hungry Elite. We will prevail. There are just too damn many more of us than there are of them.Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!   
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 17:48:08 PT

MikeC
I don't know what to say. I know that Singapore is really strict. The risks to try to buy or transport drugs in Singapore is very dangerous. The death penalty is used as we know.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 17:22:42 PT

Thanks Hope
I looked but it isn't on DirectTV on the Movie Channel now. The little bit I saw of the movie it was really good. Hopefully it will be on again on Direct TV. I'd like to see the whole movie. Here's the concert for those who might like to listen to the concert.http://www.arlo.net/massacree/
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on December 01, 2005 at 17:08:00 PT

FoM
The movie Alice's Restaurant is on TMCXW on Dish Network...don't know what it might be on the others. It's hippie!

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Comment #12 posted by Hope on December 01, 2005 at 17:04:30 PT

Seige
It's a handy tactic that has served non government thugs as well as the jack booted thugs "following government orders". Several years ago in Texas it happened that a young woman was kidnapped and murdered hideously by a gang of drug thugs from Arkansas, wearing masks and DEA shirts and shouting "DEA!" They were exacting a payment from her brother that had made a deal for certain drugs and did not pay. Another preventable prohibition death using a prohibition tactic to easily gain entry to a home and get away with it...at the moment it was happening. Who would dare to step in to protect the young woman from heavily armed masked government drug enforcement? They looked and sounded real enough. They crashed through the doors screaming just like the real thing. After all, it is a common tactic used by our lovely government. It happens every day some where in this country.The kidnapper/murderers were eventually caught, but too late to save the young woman who was brutally raped and buried alive.Drug raids are really bad law enforcement tactics that have been easily immitated by those aware of the infamous tactic.If our law enforcement didn't use such hideous tactics, imitaters wouldn't be fooling people into non-resistance. Using Dynamic Entry as an everyday law enforcement tool has given a new tool to the criminal element.Then again...it could have been rogue cops who have also been known to do fake "raids" on people for their own criminal enterprises.Also it bothers me that someone has piped up to blame the "meth culture". Haven't cannabis people had to put up with enough unfair demonization of their own consumption choices to know better than to participate in that same behavior toward another group? That stinks, too.
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Comment #11 posted by siege on December 01, 2005 at 17:03:00 PT

sorry link
http://newsok.com/article/1692674/?template=home/main
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Comment #10 posted by siege on December 01, 2005 at 17:01:24 PT

Guns stolen from DEA agent's vehicle
By Jesse Olivarez
The OklahomanArea law enforcement officials were on alert Wednesday after thieves ransacked a federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent's vehicle overnight in northwest Oklahoma City and made off with several items -- including guns and law enforcement credentials.Show Videos (There are 2 related videos)
http://newsok.com/video/1692674/

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Comment #9 posted by MikeC on December 01, 2005 at 16:48:24 PT

OT...
I see that Singapore hanged a man today for attempting to smuggle 14 ounces of heroin out of Singapore to his native Australia.Why is it that when foreign countries give what the USA considers "soft" penalties for drug convictions, the USA attempts to bully them into being harsher on drug crimes? Then when another country hangs a man for such an offense the USA sits back and says nothing...shouldn't we be telling them that they are being too harsh on people with drug problems?Our government sucks.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 16:37:23 PT

Related Article from The Rocky Mountain News 
Pot Fight Planned Over Possession Citation ***Man says he'll fight marijuana bust 
By Alan Gathright, Rocky Mountain News December 1, 2005The first marijuana defendant to challenge Denver authoritiesí refusal to adhere to a voter-approved initiative legalizing adult pot possession entered the city courthouse today and demanded a Jan. 18 court hearing, vowing to plead not guilty to a police citation issued under state law. Outside courtside, Eric Footer said his motivation was to "help somebody else so they donít have to go through this." "I was under the impress that because the voters approved this that I wasnít doing anything illegal," the 39-year-old real estate consultant said, referring to the Nov. 1 passage of Initiative 100, which made it ostensibly legal in Denver for adults 21 years or older to posses 1 ounce or less of marijuana. "Iím a law-abiding citizen. Iíve never been in trouble with the law before and I just felt that it was a matter of principle," he said. City officials have said that because state law trumps a local ordinance they have no choice but to continue prosecuting violators under the state pot possession law. But Footerís defense team accused Denver authorities of ignoring the will of the voters as attorneys laid out their defense strategy. "With the passage of I-100, Mr. Footer made the good faith, reasonable assumption that the possession of small quantities of marijuana by responsible adults was now legal in Denver," said Brian Vicente, an attorney who heads the marijuana advocacy group, Sensible Colorado, and a member of Footerís three-attorney defense team.Copyright: 2005 The E.W. Scripps Co.http://www.insidedenver.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4281679,00.html

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Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 15:55:19 PT

Siege
I don't think it was the police but someone he knew and who was angry with him for some reason or another. I hope whoever did this is arrested soon. 
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Comment #6 posted by siege on December 01, 2005 at 15:44:48 PT

inside job
when they broke in to the man house they called out: (this is a raid, this is a raid) they could not forget there train ing.
or someone is making it look like an inside job. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 15:24:58 PT

Truth
You're welcome and I wonder why they haven't found the murderers yet.
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Comment #4 posted by Truth on December 01, 2005 at 15:17:04 PT

FoM
Thanks for fixing it up.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 01, 2005 at 14:08:58 PT

Truth
I had to shorten the one line because it made scrolling necessary. I just mentioned to gloovins about posting links since certain articles I have to snip since CNews is DrugSense's name and some papers aren't nice about copyright issues. I wish it wasn't a problem for me but it is. Links and a comment about an article is always fine. They aren't snipped sources so I won't remove them. I hope you understand. 
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Comment #2 posted by Truth on December 01, 2005 at 13:56:39 PT

Marijuana murder
A neighbor of ours was violently murdered a couple of weeks ago. Les was a good neighbor and would still be with us if it wasn't for marijuana prohibition. Too bad we can't recognize and practice what we learned during alcohol prohibition.Here's the articles:Pot activist likely knew killers
Police believe gunmen who robbed Laytonville man familiar with home
Sunday, November 20, 2005
By GLENDA ANDERSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT (Santa Rosa CA)
http://www.topix.net/city/laytonville-caKENT PORTER / PD
Jeremiah Crane, 19, waits to talk with law enforcement officials Saturday at the home of his slain father, Les Crane, in Laytonville.
Medical marijuana activist Les Crane probably knew the masked gunmen who kicked in the door to his secluded Laytonville home in the middle of the night, raided his safe of pot and cash and beat two other people with bats before shooting Crane multiple times, killing him, authorities said Saturday."From all indications, they were familiar with the interior of the residence," said Mendocino County Sheriff's Lt. D.J. Miller.Crane, 39, suffered as many as five bullet wounds when he was gunned down in his bedroom about 2:30 a.m. Friday.Crane's girlfriend, Jennifer Drewry, was sleeping in a separate bedroom and suffered a broken arm when she was attacked. A friend, Sean Dirlam, was in a third bedroom and suffered facial injuries as the three, possibly four assailants cleaned out the large safe, Miller said.Authorities said they have identified possible suspects, but no arrests have been made.The violent and bloody altercation shook the tiny northern Mendocino County community along Highway 101 where cattle graze in fields bordered by oak and conifer forests and marijuana is a backcountry way of life for some."The vibe here is contaminated," said Matt Bridges, a close friend of Crane's.Along with a half-dozen others, he donned yellow rubber gloves and spent Saturday morning cleaning the blood from Crane's home, a recently remodeled double-wide trailer with redwood shingles. The door, which investigators believe was kicked in, had been removed as evidence.Another friend, Tim Holbert, who is better known in the community as "Tie-dye" for his multicolored garb, wept as he wiped blood spatters from the dresser mirror in Crane's bedroom.Crane's friends believe he was forced to open the safe before he was shot. But the safe might have been open already, said Miller.Later Saturday, Crane's son, Jeremiah Crane, struggled to come to terms with the killing as he stood outside his home on the other side of town.He and several of his father's friends and associates are convinced that at least one of the gunmen knew Crane. They believe those responsible are involved in a different drug culture, methamphetamine, which is associated with violence.Jeremiah Crane was wearing a T-shirt made shortly after the slaying with his father's image and one of his favorite sayings, "God gave it to us, no one can take it away."He said his father, originally from Connecticut, underwent a transformation after moving to Laytonville three years ago from Florida, where he had been selling tie-dyed clothing and was addicted to crack cocaine. He came to California with just $200 in his pocket, opened a tie-dye store and began growing medical marijuana, which he considered a "sacred weed," his son said.Crane was driven to promote and fight for medical use of marijuana, which he said was put on Earth by God to benefit man. He called his dispensaries churches and himself a reverend. When he died, Crane had some 1,000 medical marijuana patients, pot dispensaries in Ukiah and Laytonville, his home on six acres, and additional property on the Mendocino Coast.Jeremiah Crane and several of his friends said they plan to leave Laytonville because of the brutal attack."The people who did this are greedy, worthless people," said Jam Stevens, one of those who had come to Les Crane's house to help out Saturday.As people came in and out, some smoking joints, Bridges said some of the other pot growers in the area didn't like Crane because he openly advertised and campaigned for medical marijuana. That was a problem because it attracted the attention both of law enforcement, which arrested Crane earlier this year, and criminal types who steal from legitimate growers, he said."Les was too high-profile for his own good," Bridges said. "I tried to warn him."Crane, who was animated and had a forceful East Coast persona, could also be obnoxious and some people didn't like him. But he was a man with good intentions and gave away a lot of pot to people who couldn't afford it, Bridges said.Just days before his death, he donated about 600 turkeys to local food banks, something he's been doing for several years.He also opened a youth center in Laytonville, a place where children could hang out after school before their parents came home from work.The center is equipped with two pool tables, a ping-pong table, two large TV screens and arts and crafts materials. Crane outfitted the center, paid rent on the building and paid a person to watch over the children, friends said.On Saturday, makeshift memorials began materializing outside Crane's youth center and the Ukiah cannabis club.His ashes will be scattered in a stream on the Westport property that feeds the ocean, his son said. A memorial service has yet to be scheduled.===========================================================
Laytonville marijuana guru shot to death
2 others beaten in home; no suspects, but officials believe killing related to pot growing
Saturday, November 19, 2005
By GLENDA ANDERSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051119/NEWS/511190303
A Laytonville pot guru who founded two Mendocino County medicinal cannabis dispensaries was shot to death during an apparent robbery in his home early Friday morning.Les Crane, who called his pot dispensaries churches and referred to himself as a reverend, said he was in the business to help ailing people, not to make money. He had said he had nearly 1,000 patients.He was killed at about 2:30 a.m. Friday in his home, which is about a mile from the center of Laytonville, a town of about 1,300 with a few stores along Highway 101.Two other people in Crane's home at the time of the shooting were beaten. Their names were unavailable Friday.Sheriff's officials said no suspect had been identified.Crane's death is believed to be related to his marijuana-growing and dispensing activities, Mendocino County authorities said."I am totally surprised we haven't had more robberies and violent crimes associated with these things because of the amount of money involved and the value of the product," Sheriff Tony Craver said.Crane's Ukiah cannabis dispensary, Hemp Plus, offered exotic varieties of pot that sell for as much as $350 an ounce. He also had a dispensary in Laytonville.He called marijuana "the tree of life" and said God placed it on Earth to benefit man. His religious credentials were issued by the Universal Life Church, which supplies certificates through the mail and the Internet.Sheriff's Lt. D.J. Miller provided few details of the crime, pending further investigation, including how many times Crane was shot or if any money or items were taken.Mendocino County officials had doubts about Crane's purpose for growing pot, and in May he was arrested for marijuana cultivation and several thousand pot plants were confiscated from his home. The criminal case was pending when he was killed.Local governments throughout California have reacted to crime concerns by adopting laws regulating the sale and cultivation of medicinal pot. But there have been just a handful of medical pot-related crimes in Mendocino County in the past few years, Craver said.They include a 2002 incident in which two Willits residents were shot and wounded during a home-invasion robbery.Crane's death is the first time someone in the county has been killed in a pot-related crime in at least seven years, said Mendocino County District Attorney Norm Vroman.
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Comment #1 posted by cloud7 on December 01, 2005 at 13:04:13 PT

Eric Footer
Hero.
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