|Here’s what the marijuana grow operation looked like before the DEA raided it on Tuesday|
An Oregon medical marijuana grower is dazed and confused after federal agents searched his home, took his cannabis, and hauled it away in dump trucks.
James Anderson, 25, is part of a group of marijuana growers in Gold Hill who share a plot of land to collectively grow for their respective patients, reports Chris Conrad at the Medford Mail Tribune. “We are growing within our limits,” Anderson said. “Some of us are under.”
Drug Enforcement Administration agents, U.S. Marshals and a motley crew of local police officers pulled into his property at 9 a.m. on Tuesday to serve a search warrant, according to Anderson.
|James Anderson: “We have patients that need this medicine”|
The agents handcuffed Anderson and Ashley Morgan, 25, who lives on the property. Agents then searched the home, seizing Anderson’s shotguns, his cell phone, his computer, and, for some reason known only to themselves, his iPod, among other items.
“They told us either leave the premises or stay handcuffed,” Anderson said, reports Sharon Ko at KDRV. “We already had been handcuffed for six and a half hours and we were more than happy to go and sit at the end of the road and watch truck-fulls of patients’ medicine pass by.”
DEA agents busted down doors on other properties on the patch of land as well, according to Anderson.
The DEA refused to comment on the raid; an official with the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed that a raid occurred, but wouldn’t give any details.
Anderson’s landlord, Keith Rogers, spent Wednesday repairing the doors which the DEA knocked down. He pointed to a large hole in his front door made by a battering ram.
“Everyone on this property, as far as I know, is within the law,” Rogers said. “When they do have excess marijuana they burn it. I keep a close eye on this garden and don’t want anyone breaking the law here.”
The federal agents left Anderson and Morgan handcuffed for hours while they uprooted all of the plants on the property, according to Anderson.
“They took everything,” he said. “We don’t know what to do now. We have patients that need this medicine.”
Anderson showed a copy of the search-and-seizure warrant left by the agents. It showed aerial photos of the property and listed what the agents planned to seize when serving the warrant.
Anderson said he realizes federal law does not allow marijuana for any purpose. “We were legal within the state laws, but the feds trump any state law,” he said.
As the raid was conducted, one officer kneeled down to tie a bootlace and accidentally fired his pistol into the ground near Rogers’s workshop, Anderson said.
“So they must have the safeties off their guns,” Anderson said. “There was no need for that. We weren’t going to shoot at any cops.”
Anderson later dug the bullet from the ground, and has it in a plastic bag inside his house.
Many of their patients made the trip to the property while the raid was underway and shortly afterward, according to Morgan.
“They kept asking how they were going to get their medicine,” Morgan said. “There are over 70 patients who will be affected by this.”
To view KDRV’s video report of the raid, click here.