The URL of Hiatt’s site, douglashiatt.com
: Rogers’s angry, profanity-laced message, NSFW, will automatically start when you click the link), now contains no information about the marijuana attorney. (Hiatt’s site has now been restored at douglashiatt.net
“Effective Sunday May 2nd this domain is under a new owner,” the former Hiatt site now reads in plain black type on a white background. “Contrary to the confusion, this domain has NEVER been owned by the attorney Douglas Hiatt,” we are told, and the message then offers the domain for sale at $4,000
— “feel free to contact the new owner.” (So, if Hiatt never owned the site, then why is the owner “new”? I dunno.)
”All proceeds will go to pay for the damage ($2k approx) and unpaid utility bills ($2.2k approx) for the West Seattle house rented by the Dunshee folks,” read a statement that has since been removed. (Dunshee House is the home of the Seattle AIDS Support Group and is associated with Compassion In Action.)
“Respectful medical marijuana patients DO NOT trash rental properties and they pay their utility bills!” the commandeered Hiatt site still reads.
The whole saga apparently started when a member of one Seattle collective (Compassion In Action) rented a residence from the mother of a member of another collective (Green Buddha), then left the landlord holding the bag for $2,200 in unpaid utility bills and, depending upon whom you ask, a couple grand worth of damage to the place.
The consternation widened Tuesday when a third site, Seattle Green Cross, was also affected. Joanna McKee, founder of the oldest patient cooperative in Seattle, told Seattle Weekly
‘s Nina Shapiro that she went to the site of her organization, Green Cross Patient Network, only to find that her contact information had been removed.
|Photo: Seattle Green Cross
|Seattle Green Cross, the city’s oldest patient network, was founded by Joanna McKee in 1993
McKee’s picture remains on the site, but contact information for several other medical marijuana groups has been added — with Green Buddha topping the list, “which seems like more than a coincidence,” Shapiro reports.
Hiatt and Rogers say that Kyashna-tocha set up their sites for them, and registered the sites in her name rather than in theirs. Hiatt and the Green Buddha proprietor worked in the same law office a couple years ago when Kyashna-tocha worked for Jeffrey Steinborn
, another Seattle attorney specializing in marijuana cases.
McKee said Kyashna-tocha also set up her site. According to McKee, Kyashna-tocha convinced her that Green Cross needed another stand-alone site that devoted more space to McKee’s role in passing a medical marijuana initiative.
“I don’t know much about computers,” the 67-year-old McKee told the Seattle Weekly
|Photo: Cannabis Culture
|CannaCare’s Steve Sarich told Toke of the Town he had “nothing to do” with rival collectives’ traffic being directed to his site
Rogers, Hiatt and McKee all told the Weekly they believe Kyashna-tocha altered their sites; McKee said she has no idea why. Rogers believes the website grab happened because of the renter/landlord disagreement involving members of his and Kyashna-tocha’s collectives, while Hiatt believes his site was compromised because he attempted to intervene on Rogers’s behalf.
Hiatt had contacted his former co-worker, Kyashna-tocha, last week in hopes of resolving the issue between the two dispensaries, reports Seattle patient advocacy group Cannabis Defense Coalition
In response, Kyashna-tocha launched an attack on Hiatt’s site as well, alleges CDC
, which reports that the Green Buddha owner still had the login details for Hiatt’s domain.
“Reading into Ms. Kyashna-tocha’s often confusing action and prolific, cryptic writing, she seems to be rallying against medical marijuana authorization clinics which operate in conjunction with medical marijuana dispensaries,” speculates CDC
Meanwhile, the entire embarrassing incident seems to have particularly bad timing, with Sensible Washington
‘s legalization initiative, I-1068, facing a big deadline for signatures in July. Public perceptions of the marijuana community have never been more important in the history of Washington state.
Muraco Kyashna-tocha hadn’t responded to Toke of the Town‘s request to comment at the time this story was written.