Getting Drugs Off The Street And Cash Out Of Wallets

There appears to be a thriving medical marijuana industry in Michigan and the police are real unhappy about it.

Earlier this month, police in Oakland County, Michigan raided a medical marijuana dispensary in the town of Oak Park. The deputies came in with guns drawn and bulletproof vests, with at least one wearing a mask.

They made no arrests, but they did clean the place out. The confiscated all of the dispensary's cash on hand and--in a particularly thuggish touch--also took all of the cash from the wallets and purses of employees and patients.

Armed robbery by the police? Not exactly. The police only get 4/5ths of the cash. They have to share the rest with the big boss who keeps the crime organized.
Under Michigan's asset forfeiture law, 80 percent of the cash the deputies seized will go directly to the Oakland County Sheriff's Department. The other 20 percent goes to the local prosecutor. Medical marijuana is legal under Michigan law but is of course still illegal under federal law. And apparently there's some debate about the legality of dispensaries. All of which means this particular dispensary will have a hard time proving it earned the seized cash legitimately. I doubt the patients and employees will get their cash back, either.
But a former prosecutor explains what asset forfeiture is all about. Now that he is out of office he can tell the truth (better than those who get out of office and don't).
"It's a money grab, pure and simple; a sneaky way of getting a penalty on something prosecutors can't prove. It's like shooting fish in a barrel."
Armed robbery by our government? It is the thing revolutions are made of.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
You can always get away with doing this to disfavored minorities for a while but eventually the bill will become due. I do hope this gets fixed before there are people in the streets and politicians hanging from the lamp posts. It would be unfortunate for all concerned. And bad for business besides.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 02.13.11 at 02:06 AM


This was not the first marijuana raid by Sheriff Mike Bouchard in Oakland County:

How he was able to bamboozle local Tea Party activists into thinking he was a constitutional conservative when he ran in the gubernatorial primary is a story someone ought to explore.

Eric Scheie   ·  February 13, 2011 12:50 PM

If it's a War on drugs, Civil Forfeiture is giving the troops permission to loot.

Brett   ·  February 13, 2011 4:33 PM

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