A drug trial in Grants Pass has kicked opened the door revealing what is behind the scenes of a large-scale medical marijuana operation.
The prosecution’s star witness testified Thursday. He stated that large growers regularly grow more than allowed, planning to sell hundreds of pounds on the black market.
Grown illegally because it’s more than allowed, and often stored to be shipped to the inner cities of adjoining states where pot is not legal, they’re operating a full-blown illegal drug trade, yet they don’t want to go to jail so they hide behind the “supposedly” sick and dying …..
“Everybody’s in this for money. Don’t let anybody fool you,” Thomas Bletko, 51, testified in Josephine County Circuit Court – all done under the pretention of it being medicinal when it’s only marijuana.
I’m a former user now fighting legalization, and I remember everyone sitting around talking about getting everyone (users) on the same page ….. T hose who’d first read how Nadelman had said that we’d “found the weak link in the chain” and we were all to claim pot’s medicinal …. and that, (though it would take a while ….) that, would get us legalization! Everyone agreed that it could work, we were all excited.
Then, I saw what pot had done to me and my children; I became angry and quit using. It took 2 to 2 and a half years for it to wash out of my system and for me to begin thinking straight again, but I can testify now, that I was there and was part of this, and “MEDICAL MARIJUANA” IS A SCAM!
Bletko turned state’s evidence in the trial of Brenda Thomas, the manager of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation clinic in Grants Pass. The foundation, headed by longtime Portland marijuana activist D. Paul Stanford, who has clinics in nine states, where doctors examine patients looking for state authorization to use pot to treat medical conditions; often the “examinations” are conducted by phone.
Thomas has pleaded innocent to felony charges of manufacture and distribution of a controlled substance.
Police raided Thomas’ rural Wilderville home in October 2009 after a Las Vegas couple pulled over in a traffic stop on Interstate 5 near Ashland told investigators that they bought the pound of marijuana found in their car from Thomas. Investigators found 200 pounds of marijuana, much of it processed. The street value of that much marijuana is about $500,000.
According to Oregon’s “medical pot laws” people with a “card” can have someone else grow it for them but cannot charge for it.
A/P reported that according to testimony, Thomas and Bletko were careful to have enough medical marijuana cards to cover the 72 plants in the ground, but when police raided the property, they had several times the number of drying plants and processed marijuana amounting to 200 pounds, far more than allowed!
I’ve never known Stanford to be ethical or moral; I’ve seen him violate the law – flaunting it by smoking pot in public, with groups of people, standing on the Lane County court house steps!
Bletko, who testified after pleading guilty to a reduced charge and being sentenced to probation, said he was looking for a place to grow “my prescription” when a fellow grower introduced him to Thomas.
Thomas was looking for a grower, Bletko testified, and they reached an agreement: he would grow the marijuana, Thomas would trim it, they’d provide their 13 card-holding patients with the marijuana the patients were entitled to under law, give eight pot plants to the grower who had introduced Bledko and Thomas, and each take half of the remainder.
“You don’t grow half a million dollars worth of pot for medical patients,” Bletko said.”
The pot that wasn’t going to patients was “going to be sold for profit. Most of it was being sold in Portland and Seattle.”
Bletko said he moved his trailer onto Thomas’ property and laid out his rules: No selling to anyone off the property, who could get pulled over by police and bring the heat down on the growers. No bud trimmers were allowed on the property without medical marijuana cards. And no unnecessary visitors.
According to a search warrant affidavit, the Las Vegas couple told police they were introduced to Thomas by Thomas’ sister. They bought three-quarters of a pound from Thomas for $1,000 and got more for helping trim buds and other work on the property, even though they did not have medical marijuana cards.
Bletko testified that he built a water tower for irrigation, a fence to screen the garden from view, and a chain-link fence around the rest of the garden to keep out thieves. He hired someone with a small tractor to dig the holes for the plants. He said he patrolled the perimeter every night, his pit bull dog on a leash in one hand and a gun in the other.
State police often patrol by airplane counting only the number of visible plants. Much of the “medical pot” is grown indoors – for that illegal crop, …. the police count on informers and large electric bills to give the sites away.