Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

July 27, 2010
Raid on Mendo grower riles opponents of Obama DEA nominee

After Mendocino County passed a new ordinance to allow medical marijuana growers to cultivate up to 99 plants, Joy Greenfield was the first to sign-up.

According to the Ukiah Daily Journal, she purchased 25 zip ties from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department as part of a county program to regulate local medicinal cultivation by labeling pot plants to ensure residents don't exceed growing limits. She was in the process of purchasing 74 more ties.

But this month, federal drug agents swooped onto Greenfield's property, in the Chicken Ridge area of the Mendocino town of Covelo, seized her plants, a computer and cash.

Now marijuana advocates are rallying around the Mendo grower - and demanding that President Barack Obama yank his nomination of a high-ranking Drug Enforcement Administration official he tapped to head the agency.

The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) cited the Mendocino County raid as proof that current DEA Deputy Administrator Michele Leonhart is unfit to move up to the top agency job.

In a press release on behalf of multiple marijuana advocacy groups, NORML Executive director Allen St. Pierre charged that Leonhart was ignoring Obama administration pledges not to target medical marijuana in California and other 13 states where it is legal under state laws. Medical pot is illegal under federal law.

"Under Leonhart's leadership, the DEA has staged medical marijuana raids in apparent disregard of Attorney General Eric Holder's directive to respect state medical marijuana laws," St. Pierre said.

He said the agency "flouted a pioneering Mendocino County ordinance to regulate medical marijuana cultivation by raiding the first grower to register with the sheriff."

NORML said Greenfield was growing plants for a San Diego dispensary called Light The Way.

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