Pounded in San Bernardino

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October 2013, Octavio Gonzalez called and told me about his case. He mentioned that he had reached out to “all the other orgs” and that no one even returned his calls. I told him of the origins of our group and that this is what we do… I asked him to sign up as a member and send a version of his story. He did and I asked him to join us at a meeting. He did call into a work meeting and explained the case..
It was one of the simplest ones that I have encountered and should have been a slam dunk…
A small informal collective… no documents, no records, only 3 qualified patients that collectively agreed to cultivate their medicine together… sound familiar?
I have been personally attacked by so called “purists” that see this as the only legitimate way to comply with California law…. it’s not of course but they sit on high horses and look down on my “dispensary case”………  and you still wonder why we are still getting our asses kicked
I digress….
a “Knock and talk” turned into a “safety check” and entry into the residence without permission..   occupant was detained and later a warrant was issued and the raid conducted. The “roommate” ended up taking a deal and agreeing to testify on the state’s behalf but turned out to be a tweaker and picked up more charges and taking him out of play….
I spoke with Octavio from time to time since that first contact and he was relocating to Florida to be with family as soon as this mess was over. He was offered a misdemeanor but refused as he didn’t do anything wrong. ……
Last Thursday during a regular Thursday work meeting, I received a call from Octavio, the message stated that he was about to go to prelim and again, he had reached out to every group without any response….. I’ll admit I was a little irked as I had given a formula to rally support and like so many others… last second “help me”
So I did what I could and mentioned his case on the radio show and posted court details on calendar etc, and Octavio showed up at Victoria’s trial on Friday to show support with Tabitha his sister
Kathie Z and I arrived to see Tabitha sitting in the hallway outside the courtroom preparing to testify at the hearing. I walked in hoping to see a strong show of support but instead saw a mostly empty courtroom with the exception of an expert witness and “Mom.”
What happened next was deeply disturbing…. I witnessed not one prosecutor but two and they had convinced the judge that this case was held to the same standard as a dispensary, requiring licenses, and organizing documents etc….
the judge denied the medical defense and furthermore denied the attempt at bringing the recommendations of the members as they were not considered to be “business documents”
Finally, the judge denied the motion to quash the warrant ruling that the “Knock and talk” entry was OK as the occupant didn’t do what he said and a “strong odor of marijuana” got stronger as they got closer to the house…. the case was bound over for trial and Octavio must return to answer charges May 5th at 1:30pm.  (see Calendar)
We left the courtroom with little fanfare and a devastated Octavio walked past us and down the hall…… he returned a few minutes later trembling and on the Virge of tears. He thanked us for being there. We told the family that things would end up OK and that there were still many steps to take before trial. Also that the trial judge would rule on the affirmative defense for trial. I also assured him that we would do everything to rally more support
We have many members from San Diego to Los Angeles and many of you could easily be sitting in Octavio’s place…… we would be there for you……..
Please when you see a court support date posted either make a point to attend or find someone to take your place…. there is no reason why every courtroom in California or anywhere in America for that matter….
as you make your plans for the “420 event” or other entertainment please make the choice to match your time being the solution and supporting one of our Canna warriors that heroically take a stand instead of “taking the deal”
A reason, a season, or a lifetime…… where do you fit in?
thank you for being a part of the solution


Blessings

Joe Grumbine

Kristin Flor heads to Oregon to unveil Pow wall and launch new chapter!

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Imagine, a beautiful piece of plant art, on a wall, in a dispensary with our prisoners names, honoring their sacrifices!  Yes, good dreams are coming true!  On Saturday, April 26th,The 45th Parallel is revealing the masterpiece!  They have invited me at 1:00 to be part of this amazing grand opening event.  I can’t explain the tremendous warming feeling in my heart because I am too excited!   If you are an OMMP cardholder, I would love to for you to visit the masterpiece and honor our prisoners with us!  The address is 16631 SE 82nd Drive, Clackamas, Oregon  97086.  We are also launching a Human Solution chapter, making Jared’s safer shirts (bring a t-shirt) and BBQ-ing, it will be a day to remember!

Defendant Cindy Farnsworth

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Being charged with production. I had 11 plants inside of my green
house. Another person threw seeds on my land. Then turned me in to the
police saying that I was not legal.

What city and State were these filed? Case #? Who is your legal
representative?
Holbrook Az. A court appointed attorney.

Case status? Arraignment, Jury Selection, Pre-trial, Charges not yet
filed? Include your next court date.
trial date is set for the 28th of May
I am a medical patent of Cannabis . After helping the Cannabus I drove
my car during the 420 gig last year . To be a support car for the bus.
This person was going to go back east with the Cannabus after Denver.
When they all got to Oklahoma city. This man got thrown off the bus.
As he was posting on Facebook that he was going to get arrested for
even being on the streets. Feeling that I might be able to help him. I
sent a bus ticket to get him back here. Long story short he got upset
with me when I wouldn’t allow him to grow on my land. When I asked him
to leave. He called the police and led them to believe that I am the
biggest dealer in north eastern Az. I have never been in any kind of
court for me. It’s a very scary thing to have to go through. I face a
year and one half of I lose. I would never have been put to this if I
had not gotten involved with activism. The big green bus has changed
my life. I must help change the world.

Fredrica Ballard needs our help!!!!

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nearly 2 weeks ago, The National THS work meeting wrote letters to newly imprisonned Fredrica Ballard.

most of the time we write to offer personal contact to the outside world but sometimes we can truely be a lifeline… this is one such case…. You can be this lifeline for Fredrica…

Please write to Fredrica and help if you can

Fredrica Ballard #00933322

Clark county detention center

330 S.Casino Center Blvd   Las Vegas Nevada, 89101

 

Dear THS family
I love you and miss you all soooo uch. Thank youi for the letters of encouragement. That meant so much to me. Hug everyone for me. I also write to ask for your help. I cannot reach my children :( My personal cel is the only # that I know and it does not accept collect calls. I don’t have anyone’s address or #s or any $ on my phone acct or commisary. I am i medical unit due to my diabetes and it is 23 hours a day lock down. Someone tried to visit but I couldn’t get to them due to a medical emergancy lockdown that evening. Please help me. I need moey put on my phone acct. ICC solutions. I believe please. I will be done with my sentence April 9 but my bond on another mj case has expired and I am now being held on that 50k bail. I need my children to know this. I need bail. I can’t reach anyone please help me. Daniel put 50 bucks on my commissary initially but it is now gone.know I will repay you no problem. please I need help. Please contact my phone, my children, Adam and all the Las Vegas Human Solution members. I hope that someone will have my children’s phone #s Call, Text, please don’t give up! I need my bond paid by April 9th
My Atty on this case is Scot Eichorn 702-382-8278  (call him) My atty on the mj case that you came to court for is Gary Madafferi (702) 474-4222.
Tell Kathy Z her letter made me cry and that I LOVE HER TOO!! Thank Lori and Debbie and Jul? too. Sorry communication is so horrible here like the food lol.
I pray you are successful in reaching my family. All I do is read all day. Please can you update Las Vegas Human Solution Chapter facebook page? I have time to write now but lack the paper,envelopes and addresses. If you would like to forward me some inmate addresses. Kieth Patton and his mother need to know where I am as well. Tell him to let Rolando of the Las Vegas Tribune know as well as where I am and to come and visit me. Please and Thank you
I pray this gets to you quickly.. Love and Solidarity
                                                    Namaste
   No one Should                                  Fredrica
 Be in Jail for a plant

– fredrica1

Urgent request for Chris Woodard

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The following is an urgent request from Matt Pappas.

Dear Friend:

Almost two years ago now, Long Beach Police, using a battering ram and armed with a defective warrant, raided a legal medical marijuana dispensary in Long Beach, California. The entire facility was destroyed. The basis for the destruction was alleged violation of an ordinance banning all medical marijuana in Long Beach that had been hastily enacted as “emergency legislation” at the urging of then City Attorney Bob Shannon. There was, of course, no emergency. The dispensary had leased the property far in advance of the passage of the ban and the City Council failed to include any amortization period, let alone the minimum 2-year period it should have. More than $30,000.00 damage was done to the interior of the dispensary. Patients were arrested as well as brutalized. Officers, effectuating their defective warrant, were in paramilitary uniforms with machine guns out pointed at patients who were prescribed cannabis pursuant to California state law.
Months after the raid, managing patient Christopher Woodard, a very professional and compassionate African-American man, filed suit against the City along with other patients and dispensaries that had similarly been raided, some without any warrants at all, since early-2011. The lawsuit alleged that the City as well as individually named officers, including Det. David Strohman, had violated various civil rights. Although most of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit were patient dispensaries, the only individual plaintiffs were Woodard and his brother because officers had, following the raid of the collective, gone out several nights later and raided their homes. When they raided Woodard’s home in Riverside County, officers terrorized his then eight-year-old daughter, who suffers from a heart ailment.
Following the raid, Woodard left the medical cannabis industry and went back to working as an electrician and E.M.T. Since the raid, his house has gone into arrears and he has had to borrow money from friends. The damage done by police to his home, family, and employer were devastating.
The trial date set for the lawsuit was March 12, 2014. However, about six (6) weeks before the lawsuit was to go to trial, Officer Strohman arrested Woodard. That’s right — almost two years after the raid, Strohman — the main police officer defendant in the lawsuit for violation of civil rights — arrested one of the two individually named plaintiffs in the case just shortly before trial in the civil case was set to begin.
As soon as our office attempted to arrange bail for Chris Woodard, the District Attorney sought a “1275 order,” a program reserved for drug kingpins and large-scale drug traffickers. Essentially, the District Attorney alleged Woodard could not post bail until he proved the proceeds used for bail did not come from illegal drug transactions. In fact, Woodard could not afford the approximately $3,000 required for him to bond out of jail without loans from his family — he never has been and is NOT a drug kingpin. He is a father and responsible person who has worked continuously to support his family and to help patients both as a managing patient and E.M.T.
After he had been jailed for nearly 3 weeks, Woodard’s family was able to raise the money necessary to bail him out of jail. A hearing was thereafter set to determine the origin of the money as required by the Penal Code s. 1275 order the District Attorney had obtained. Prior to the hearing, Sergio Sandoval, who works for my law office, had arranged bail with the bonding company and had, as he has compassionately done for many individuals brutalized by Long Beach Police over the years, co-signed on the paperwork for the bail.
At the Penal Code s. 1275 hearing, just days before the federal civil rights trial was set to begin, Det. Strohman was in court along with Los Angeles Dep. District Attorney Patrick O’Crowley. When it appeared the judge was ready to grant bail and allow Chris to be released on bond, O’Crowley suddenly argued to the judge that he could not allow Woodard’s release because the Pappas Law Firm was under investigation. With a look of disbelief, the judge asked O’Crowley what the firm was being investigated for and what evidence the District Attorney had. O’Crowley reported he had no evidence but that the firm was being investigated meaning that Sergio’s signature on the bond paperwork was questionable. After going back and forth for a period of time, the judge granted the bail request despite Det. Strohman and O’Crowley’s effort to thwart bail and keep Chris in jail.
That evening, bail was posted. However, as had happened before with Woodard, he was somehow “lost” in the Los Angeles Men’s Central Jail system. For two days, despite bail being posted, Woodard was not released. Then, much to the surprise of everyone except the D.A., a new hearing before a different judge was suddenly set on the issue already determined by the first judge. Not surprisingly, the new judge was actually one of the most anti-medical-marijuana judges at the Long Beach Courthouse. Without basis, the new judge reversed the first judge, discounted the testimony of Sergio Sandoval, and ordered Woodard to remain in jail through his preliminary hearing set for mid-April.
What has happened with Chris Woodard is wrong. Det. Strohman has repeatedly retaliated against anyone who dares challenge his unconstitutional and illegal conduct. Strohman oversaw multiple raids in 2011 where the police obtained NO warrant whatsoever. He violates the Fourth Amendment regularly by using excessive force during raids of dispensaries. He went after a managing patient who had moved to San Pedro because that managing patient complained to internal affairs about Strohman. Strohman has told people that Police Chief McDonnell is “not his chief.”
Luckily, we were able to obtain a continuance in the civil rights trial. However, Chris Woodard remains in jail. He is there not only because of Strohman’s misbehavior, but because his skin color is black rather than white. He has been repeatedly targeted by officers when he has done nothing wrong.
There is a huge problem in the United States. We have adorned police officers, including the few who are bad and who believe they are above the law. This country has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. We put more people in jail and we do it for non-violent drug offenses. It is no longer the land of the free, but rather is the land of the jailed. Between 40 and 50 percent of the people jailed in this country are in jail for non-violent drug offenses. Costing nearly $100,000 per inmate per year, the budget problems in governments around the country could be solved if we stopped jailing people — homeless people, mentally ill people, non-violent drug offenders — if we actually worked to help correct issues — if we actually worked to correct issues for people when jail is actually necessary — and if we were thoughtful and compassionate about people — we’d save billions of dollars that could be spent on infrastructure or even used to reduce the huge tax burden we now have in this country. We don’t do it right — we just build more jails.
Chris Woodard should not be in jail. He should never have been jailed. He should never have been charged. In my opinion, Det. Strohman should not be a police officer. He is retaliatory, condones the use of machine guns for misdemeanor warrants where there has never been any threat of violence — put simply, Det. Strohman is part of the reason people around the country have such a negative view of Long Beach and its police department.
While the election is around the corner, I’m not writing to urge votes. Rather, I’m writing because Chris Woodard is in jail. I have not had the time or resources to fight for his release. He does not have the money to pay us or any other attorney so we’ve been working on a pro bono basis to help garner his release. We need your help. We need you to write to Jackie Lacey, the Los Angeles County District Attorney, and express why this country is on the wrong track. We need you to write to others in government. And we do need you to vote. Vote to remove judges who thing the proverbial hanging-rope is required in every case. Vote to remove politicians who blindly support law enforcement that puts thousands of dollars into elections. The police departments around the country are not served well by blind support and zero accountability because we put out a flag and remember times past where good officers have performed or fallen. Rather, responsibility and accountability make for the best police departments. The ability of a police chief to make personnel decisions is critical — a strong department and the best officers work where there is accountability. That is proven by the success of officer body cameras.
Chris Woodard needs to be out of jail. The Human Solution, through Joe Grumbine and Larry King, have been working to help Chris. We need your help, too. Please take a moment to think about Chris, write on behalf of him to those who are violating his rights, and reach out and express the need for change whenever you can — voice yourself — make a difference.
Thank you,
Matt Pappas