Medical Marijuana Advocate Fuming Over Raid 

Medical Marijuana Advocate Fuming Over Raid 
Posted by CN Staff on January 19, 2007 at 07:37:41 PT
By Jim Haley, Herald Writer
Source: Herald
Seattle, WA -- An Everett medical marijuana advocate is outraged that drug agents served a search warrant on his home, confiscated hundreds of marijuana plants, and took computers and other records.Steve Sarich said those records contained personal information of about 200 people associated with his organization CannaCare.
The raid was Friday at his north Everett home, where he runs the organization. He gives marijuana starter plants to people eligible to use medical marijuana under state law."We don't sell any pot," Sarich said. "What they were doing is harassing us to get patient names. It was a political assassination."Sarich has openly promoted marijuana use for medical purposes under the 1998 state initiative. The law allows patients to get a doctor recommendation for marijuana to ease pain or to aid them for a variety of illnesses, such as glaucoma, cancer and multiple sclerosis.Those patients are allowed to grow or possess a 60-day supply of marijuana, under the law.The federal government doesn't recognize laws in 11 states that allow the use of medical marijuana.Members of the Kitsap County-based West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team and federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents Friday served a search warrant at Sarich's home.Simultaneously, a second warrant was served at the Renton home of Sarich associate John Worthington.West Sound Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez said officers confiscated more than 1,500 marijuana plants, computers and plant-growing equipment from Sarich's residence. Six plants and some papers were taken from the Worthington home, according to search warrant documents.Sarich said only a few ounces of marijuana were found at his home, and most of the items seized were cuttings and starter plants. Agents also took $1,020 that Sarich said was set aside to pay his Snohomish County PUD bill.Worthington and Sarich accused the Kitsap County officers of retaliating for information that Worthington sent to the Legislature last week. Worthington has accused the Kitsap drug unit of circumventing the state medical marijuana law by turning marijuana cases over to federal authorities.Kitsap officials wrote in court documents that they had a lead and a belief that they would find a large number of marijuana plants in the raids. Rodriguez said the case is still under investigation and he declined to comment further on it.There have been no arrests, and no charges have been filed."Our intent is to disrupt mid- and upper-level marijuana manufacturers," Rodriguez said.Pat Slack, commander of the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, said he was told in advance about the raid and Kitsap officials assured him they didn't need help.Worthington said he was directly associated with Canna- Care for about a year but has ceased active participation. He was afraid that authorities would come after Sarich, and he tried to avoid becoming involved, he added.Steve Newman, a Bothell man associated with CannaCare, said he doesn't like it that records were taken."I feel kind of threatened about it," said Newman, a multiple sclerosis patient who has a doctor's permission to use marijuana. "I'm not a dealer. I'm an MS patient trying to get relief for my MS."He said he's working with Sarich on producing a medical card for people who use marijuana to help with health problems. He was afraid that he would become a target when he got involved with CannaCare so he stopped using marijuana.Confiscation of records and possible dissemination of medical information is something that bothers the ACLU, said Alison Holcomb, director of the state ACLU Marijuana Education Project."We're interested in what kind of protection we can offer them on the medical records," Holcomb said. "We'll see if there's some way we can obtain a (court) protective order."Complete Title: Medical Marijuana Advocate Fuming Over Raid on HomeSource: Herald, The (Everett, WA)Author: Jim Haley, Herald Writer Published: January 19, 2007Copyright: 2007 The Daily Herald Co.Contact: letters heraldnet.comWebsite: Article & Web Site: CannaCare Raid Medical Marijuana Advocacy Office
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Comment #1 posted by publicbulldog on January 21, 2007 at 00:06:46 PT:
long since out of cannacare
----- Original Message ----- From: "john worthington"  
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 7:07 AM 
Subject: out of cannacare   Hello Ken, 
Steve told me he got rid of a bunch of plants to stay below the federal limit. 
He did not. 
He just branched out to vancouver and bellingham. 
this is something I do not support. 
I feel steve made this decision alone. 
He told me he was reducing his numbers. 
Instead he has grown his numbers. 
I am not comfortable with steve telling us one thing and doing another. 
He is risking everyone in his organization. 
I have dropped out of his organization effective today. 
Steve is setting everyone up for a conspiracy Charge. 
The feds do not like us all spread out. 
The love it when they can go to one organization and round us all up. 
Steve is creating a round up. 
I am not going to be part of steves roundup. 
I suggest you don't be either. 
He wants you to help him move those things again. 
I would not become a party to an obvious conspracy. 
You thought you were helping him. 
But he did not disclose to you that those were still his plants. 
He did not adhere to our advice. 
he simply told us what we wanted to here,they were gone. 
I don't trust steve anymore. 
I feel he is setting up medical marijuana patients like bowling pins. 
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