Medical Marijuana

Arizona Cops Seize $455,000 from Medical Marijuana Patient

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"Over $455,000 Seized from Medical Marijuana Patient Slapped with Civil Forfeiture," produced by Tracy Oppenheimer. Approximately 6 minutes.

Original release date was August 25, 2014. The original writeup is below.

In March 2013, Steve Oates' home in Goodyear, Ariz. was stormed by police, SWAT, and DEA agents because of a marijuana grow room in the guest house.

"It was like something you see in the movies. It was 6:30 in the morning, and basically you hear 'bang! bang! bang!' on the door, and next thing you know you hear the crash of a battering ram," says Oates.

Oates' doctor had recommended medicinal marijuana for Oates' chronic back pain, so he attained a medical marijuana card with cultivation rights. Dispensaries were still few and far between at the time, and Oates didn't trust Craigslist for his medicine.MMJ Card

"I felt like the next alternative was to grow it ourselves," says Oates. Oates met a few other patients who shared concerns about underground marijuana channels, and they decided to start growing together. Oates had their entire supply during the raid, which ended up being more than the permitted amount that he could grow with cultivation rights. He pled guilty to possessing under two pounds of marijuana.

But the conviction ended up being the smallest price that Oates had to pay. Goodyear Police Department brought Oates' case to the Attorney General, who consequently slapped Oates with over $455,000 in civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture is when the government can seize property and finances that they suspect have a connection to illicit activity. However, they sue the property instead of the person, so there doesn't have to be a related conviction.

"That's what they're claiming, is that the market value of the sales that he allegedly made was $455,000," says Oates' attorney John Moore. "They don't have any proof or any evidence that the property that they are trying to forfeit is related to the crime of his possession of marijuana for sale."

Oates says that between property taken, bank accounts seized, and legal fees, he has actually lost over $600,000, but that he would "rather spend every dollar on an attorney than just let [law enforcement] have it."

Moore is helping Oates fight to get his assets back, yet says it's easier said than done.

"In a typical civil case, it's the plaintiff that has the burden of proof. But in a civil forfeiture case, it turns­­ out it's actually the defendant that has to show where this money came from," says Moore. "We have to show by preponderance of the evidence, that this money that they are trying to forfeit came from legal means.

Moore adds that Arizona has a direct incentive to utilize asset forfeiture because unlike other states, Arizona law enforcement gets to keep seized funds for their own departments.

"Their focus is on raising revenues instead of actual law enforcement itself," says Moore. "Instead of going after real drug dealers who are transporting across state lines or criminal gangs that are creating great crime and personal injury to people, they're going after an individual because they know he had funds in his bank account."

About 5:45 minutes.

Written and produced by Tracy Oppenheimer, who also narrates. Camera by Zach Weissmueller. Featuring "Vibe Drive" by Podington Bear.

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  1. If government tyranny had a tourney asset forfeiture would be at least a 3 seed. Fucking pure evil.

    1. It’s the price we pay for civilization.

  2. I suspect you can hire hitmen for roughly the same price you can hire good lawyers. Somebody stealing half a million bucks from me, I’d be sorely tempted to go get it back the same way it was taken.

    1. The problem with that strategy is that the goons in blue outnumber your hitman by a pretty large margin.

      -jcr

  3. Now these are some professional looters here.

  4. Land of the free.

    Home of the brave.

  5. Know law: common? Simply open you own case, make your claim, as a man, for immediate restoration of your property. Do it in writing and say nothing else! The gov’t has no defense. “They” have to return your property.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIcc8FH7iQ8

    more info at: http://bit.ly/1qTL4l0

  6. I must have missed this one earlier. Thanks a lot for the colossal Saturday nut-punch.

  7. Would it be a violation of the NAP to use asset forfeiture against the Reason-Rupe poll?

  8. Remember this?

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    Who are we dealing with? The King’s Soldiers? The American Police?

  9. OT: Saudi King says “You see how they (jihadists) carry out beheadings and make children show the severed heads in the street,” he said, condemning the “cruelty” of such acts.

    http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-ki…..01543.html

    Meanwhile in the same Kingdom he rules:

    A PERSON has been put to death in Saudi Arabia almost every day this month with the country expected to have added to that figure with the execution of its 23rd inmate yesterday.

    and

    Most executions are done by beheading and many take place in public.

    In some cases decapitated bodies are left lying on the ground in public squares as a “deterrent”.

    http://www.news.com.au/world/m…..7037172765

    The context of the King’s quote was that he was warning Europe and the US about ISIS and they must do more to fight ISIS.

    You know to defend Saudi Arabia our close ally and friend in the Middle East.

    There is a lot of hay about Israel and US support…but holy fucking shit our allegiance with Saudi Arabia is totally fucked.

    1. There was that brief anti-Saudi moment when Bush was on office but for the most part, you’re right, nary a peep.

    2. Wait, wasn’t Saudi Arabia actually arming ISIS because they really hate them Shia Muslims?

      1. In the article it says Saudi Arabia gave 100 million to the UN to fight terrorists.

        I think it can be said that not only is Saudi Arabia ruled by a brutal regime but they are also spectacularly incompetent in terms of foreign policy.

        I am sure money comes from Saudis that goes into ISIS…no idea if the actual government is sending any….though if they are giving money to any rebels in Syria you know that at least indirectly goes to ISIS.

        1. Well, there’s what the Saudi government doles out, and there’s what the more fanatical elements of the Saud family hands out from their private stash…

          -jcr

  10. Need a good laugh? Here’s Bob Cesca utterly losing his shit over the fact that people on Twitter were making fun of Obama’s tan suit

    It’s a sign that American social media and the political discourse is totally off its fucking rocker. I mean beyond insane. As I followed the tweets relentlessly popping into my feed, I couldn’t help but to repeat a refrain from my colleague and friend Chez Pazienza: bring back the gatekeepers. Seriously, we’ve been given this miraculous technology — this stupendous means of communicating and this is what we’ve chosen to do with it. Grade-school-recess comment-section nitpickery has evolved into legitimate political criticism over the most mundane, nearsighted and inconsequential details.

    Congratulations, America. This is why we can’t have nice things. And when historians of the future look for someone to blame, I hope they include a brief mention of the outrage over Obama’s ordinary suit.

    Sorry to shit on your too-excellent zingers, but — once again — every president wears tan suits! Do we really need to dig into Google images and find the evidence? A cursory search reveals Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, etc, etc, etc, wearing tan suits.

    Right, because there totally aren’t people criticizing Obama’s disastrous and embarrassing foreign policy, just people making fun of the suit.

    1. I think the suit looks nice.

      1. Agreed, it just looked unusual compared to what he normally wears during pressers.

        And as DWT notes, the jokes were often very funny.

      2. Me too, but some of the comments are funny. Yes We Tan. The Audacity of Taupe.

    2. I thought this was pretty funny.

    3. Some GOP Congressperson criticized the suit, right?

    4. I couldn’t help but to repeat a refrain from my colleague and friend Chez Pazienza: bring back the gatekeepers.

      What disgusting person.

    5. He then proceeded to bitch about how the grand educational technology of television had devolved into cheap entertainment like Leave It to Beaver and Mr. Ed.

      Crazy, crazy, crazy!

    6. It’s hilarious that Alinsky has been dead for FORTY YEARS and the left still gets upset when people appropriate standard Alinskyite dirty tricks against their popular politicians.

      Don’t you know the rules, non-progressives? We get to slur, insult, and mock you because we’re better people than you. How dare you use our own highly effective and anti-intellectual tactics against us by mocking Obama for his sartorial missteps.

    7. It’s a sign that American social media and the political discourse is totally off its fucking rocker. I mean beyond insane.

      After eight years of shitting on Dubya, his intelligence, his wife, his children, his father, his mother, TEAM Blue and its affiliates have waived any right to demand civility in political discourse.

      And Beige suit Obama looked like a low-budget pimp. A pimp who can’t keep his hoes in the State and Defense departments in line.

    8. Did that guy also lose his shit when the press was mocking Ted Cruz for drinking water?

      -jcr

      1. It was Marco Rubio. Do they all look the same to you?

        Valid point, though.

      2. Rubio. And my Google-Fu is stronger than your Yahoo-Crane style:

        http://bobcesca.thedailybanter…..peech.html

        Under different circumstances, it may be unfair or unjust to focus on Rubio’s water bottle moment, but there’s nothing else to focus on. His rebuttal was devoid of substance and inspired little more than a double-take on my part to confirm that he really was delivering Mitt Romney’s 2012 stump speech verbatim.

        Quite the generous soul.

  11. It’s mind boggling the amount of time, money and force we’ve spent fighting marijuana. I mean, it’s not even like deadly overdose or serious non-long term damage is an issue with it, and yet we’ve been having SWAT teams kick down doors and shoot people over it for decades

    1. What do you mean “we” white man?

  12. Simply open you own case, make your claim, as a man, for immediate restoration of your property. Do it in writing and say nothing else! The gov’t has no defense.

    Good luck with that. Be sure to let us know how it turns out.

    1. What, you disagree that gubbermints from time immemorial have only ever existed to protect private property out of the kindness of their own hearts? What are you, some kind of anarchist?

  13. OT: let the accusations and inquisitions begin! Michael Sam cut by Rams:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_…..louis-rams

    1. Odds of him getting picked up somewhere? Cuz you know the Rams really didn’t want to have to do that.

      1. According to the (very brief) story, if no one picks him up by the deadline (tomorrow?) the Rams will sign him to their practice squad. Apparently he lost out of a rookie free agent.

    2. That’s why it was important that Jackie Robinson be a Hall of Fame talent.

    3. Most comments I’ve read indicate people are satisfied he got a fair shake and just wasn’t a fit on what was a pretty stacked Ram’s defense.

      He’s practice squad material and not much else due to his lack of versatility.

  14. The video — shot from a second police car that crossed the highway median and rammed the victim’s vehicle — shows the cops screaming “stop resisting” and “stop going for my gun” while the victim, Marcus Jeter, held his hands in the air and one cop aimed a pistol and another aimed a shotgun at him. The Bloomfield PD’s internal investigations department found no evidence of any wrongdoing by the cops.

    Spoiler: there’s a happy ending. Video is surreal.

    1. I hope Jeter gets a big check from Bloomfield.

      I hope the cops go to jail also…but they probably will only get paid leave so it is pointless to hope that.

      1. One plead guilty and two others are on trial.

  15. “Civil Forfeiture” is just a euphemism for robbery. It’s absolutely prohibited by the fifth amendment, and the failure of the courts to stop it proves that at the end of the day, the judicial branch is nothing but a pack of government shysters.

    -jcr

    1. Let’s pretend for one moment, that it’s not that, although it takes the removal of all logic and reason to allow that. So just pretend you’re a prog or socon for a moment.

      Exactly what the fuck has this guy done that his debt to society is half a million dollars? Grown some plants? It’s beyond absurd. Our government has/is removing all respect for the law, and they are doing it at an alarming pace.

      1. Let’s pretend for one moment, that it’s not that, although it takes the removal of all logic and reason to allow that. So just pretend you’re a prog or socon for a moment.

        Well, I’m sure you tried, but..

        Exactly what the fuck has this guy done that his debt to society is half a million dollars? Grown some plants?

        ..you went right back to the reason and logic. Using your brain and common sense is very habit forming and difficult behavior to break. Most people make sure to never start, and I’m afraid it might already be too late for you.

      2. Exactly what the fuck has this guy done that his debt to society is half a million dollars?

        Presumably he engaged in economic activity without asking permission, obeying orders, and most importantly giving the government their cut.

        So it is assumed that everything he owns was purchased with income he obtained without giving the government their cut, therefore everything he owns belongs to the government.

        And since government is the people and the people are the government, the property now belongs to us, the people.

        1. So, in other words, it’s a pure money grab by corrupt and ‘legally’ criminal entities. That’s what I thought.

          1. People who confuse government and society don’t feel that way. When government steals from someone, they see it as the people acquiring what is rightfully theirs. Nevermind that “the people” never actually see any of what was taken. But they don’t see it that way. They get these warm and fuzzy feeling when they see government stealing from people, because they feel like it’s them who are doing the stealing. Heck yeah! We’re sticking it to that guy who stole from us! Because not paying your fair share is the same as stealing!

            1. Strange how “the people” never includes the poor bastard who is getting fucked over.

            2. …”Nevermind that “the people” never actually see any of what was taken. But they don’t see it that way.”…

              There exist now very great fines for airlines who keep passengers in an airplane on the tarmac:
              “Critics of the new tarmac delay rules warn that airlines are likely to cancel more flights, rather than risk incurring large fines resulting from delays. There is also the fear that airlines will pass on to consumers (via higher ticket prices) any increased costs, such as fines or higher operating expenses, resulting from the new rules.”
              http://www.nolo.com/legal-ency…..33011.html

              And of course, that’s absolutely true; obvious (unintended?) consequences.
              BTW, you (as the passenger) don’t get a penny, just so’s you know.
              You only suffer those consequences.

  16. Well, the Tories are fucked.

    Tory MP Douglas Carswell defected to UKIP and has to run for reelection. He currently has a 44 point lead over the Tories in his district with 49% of Tory voters calling him a hero.

    This is not a good sign for Cameron. He’s probably going to be the first elected UKIP member of the House of Commons.

    1. The limeys are fucked period. At this point, they should just be getting fitted for their burquas.

      1. Some lesbian feminist should troll the shit out of them by walking around in a rainbow burqa.

        1. The British authorities would probably arrest them for hate crimes.

          1. You know, I wish I thought that was just a joke.

    2. This is not a good sign for Cameron. He’s probably going to be the first elected UKIP member of the House of Commons.

      This makes no sense to me.

      I keep seeing polls that show good support for UKIP and keep hearing about how well they did in elections…

      How the fuck do they not have anyone in the house yet?

      1. Maybe it has to do with the chilling effect of shit like this?

        A couple have had three foster children removed from their care because they belong to the UK Independence Party.

        Rotherham Borough Council said the children were “not indigenous white British” and that it had concerns about UKIP’s stance on immigration.

        1. The linked article says It currently has 12 MEPs and 31 councillors, with three peers in the House of Lords. so I’m not sure where Irish got his 1st MP bit.

          1. MPs are Members of the House of Commons. There have been some floor-crossers but they have yet to actually win an election to the House of Commons.

            1. Yeah, I guess MEP is member of European parliament.

              I’m thinking what has been going on is going to push some folks their way.

        2. Rotherham? Jeez that’s familiar…

  17. Well, it’s Obvious that the St. Louis Rams are hate mongering sexist bigots.

    First openly gay player released

    They should obviously forfeit the team immediately and be charged with hate crimes.

    1. Umm, nothing personal but 5:29pm.

    2. *Insert Rams joke here*

  18. Stupid cops, and they wonder why I jump for joy everytime some stupid cop gets clipped in the line of duty.

    http://www.Crypt-Anon.tk

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