Law enforcement in some Washington towns still haven’t really come to terms with the state’s medical marijuana law. Voters almost 13 years ago approved the initiative legalizing medicinal use of cannabis, but that doesn’t seem to be long enough for some localities to get the idea.
Amos said he was told by Police Chief Bob Berg and Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer that the cup of cooking oil was being tested and weighed to determine if it exceeded his authorized possession limit of 24 ounces of dried marijuana.
About 20 people showed up to voice support for Amos at the Centralia City Council meeting on Tuesday night. Although the City Council did not address Amos’s complaint of police harassment, it did agree to send a $400 damage claim he filed on January 24 to the city’s insurance pool to reimbursement him for his marijuana.
|Photo: City of Centralia
|Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg: The moron who’s going to weigh a medical marijuana patient’s cannabis cooking oil as part of the patient’s 24-oz. dried marijuana limit
Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg said two weeks ago the claim was “pending” because of a “potential criminal element” — authorized medical marijuana patients can legally possess up to 24 ounces, but Berg claimed pot brownies and cooking oil are not noted in the state law.
In fact, Chief Berg said the “pot enhanced” products were sent to the Washington State Crime Lab in Vancouver for testing of THC and, depending on analysis, a “charging decision” will be made in consultation with the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Amos, 27, scoffed at this notion.
Three weeks ago, a Centralia police officer pulled Amos over during a traffic stop. He was neither cited nor given a ticket, but his marijuana was confiscated.
“I had shown where I was in regulation, where they turned and seized about a cup of cooking oil that was infused with THC and infused medical marijuana brownies and about one ounce of dried, cured medical marijuana,” Amos said.
“I find that pretty absurd, that cooking oil, which is basic Walmart vegetable oil where marijuana is soaked into a few hours at a time, nothing close to a pound and a half — maybe a half-ounce of marijuana was soaked into that cooking oil,” Amos said. “I’m not just some person running around trying to break the law or anything; I’m minding my own business.”
Amos said he had been harassed by police, including Chehalis and the Washington State Patrol, after the Chronicle published a story in mid-December about the city of Chehalis denying a business application he had filed to open a medical marijuana dispensary there in downtown.
Meanwhile, back at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Councilor Bonnie Canaday suggested to Amos that he talk to City Manager Rob Hill about his harassment complaint. City Manager Hill told Amos he was available “this afternoon.”
Amos said he used medical marijuana because of chronic neck pain stemming from a 1999 car wreck. He said he buys pot from a Tacoma dispensary.