Attorneys are approaching Gregg Levendoski to defend his case after the medical marijuana patient was subject to a militarized raid over two dozen marijuana plants. 60 local, state and federal officers, including SWAT teams, stormed the property and arrested Levendoski, his son and his girlfriend.
It literally was a show of force, as a local news crew was invited along to witness the gross intrusion on civil rights.
Levendoski, not standing for it, has come forward to tell his story.
The 54-year-old is HIV positive, has hepatitis C and multiple forms of cancer. and is a registered medical cannabis patient who cultivates his own medicine at his remote property in Apache County. But the multi-agency raid, involving SWAT teams and local, state, and federal officers, put a stop to all this on the week of August 13.
“I feel like I have been raped and given a death sentence,” said Levendoski. “I was telling them from the moment I was standing there underneath the lights of their tanks, 'We are card-holding medical marijuana patients. They told me, 'I don’t care.’”
Violations on Levendoski’s property include cultivating too many plants and not having enough security. He and his girlfriend have both been charged with one count of possession, and his son faces charges of possession, cultivation, and paraphernalia.
The overwhelming show of force and waste of tax dollars comes down to a completely ridiculous reason. Each registered medical cannabis patient can grow up to 12 plants. All three people are card-carrying patients, but Levendoski’s girlfriend let her card lapse. Authorities claim they found 33 plants on the property. Levendoski disputes this, saying there were only 23.
So, because some person on some remote piece of property let a medical marijuana card lapse, an army of militarized law enforcement descended to haul away the vile criminals.
Commander Lance Spivey of the Apache County Sheriff’s Office was the brave figurehead of the operation.
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“They’re violating the law. Even if it’s medical marijuana, like they’re claiming, there are regulations and rules that they must follow.”
Only, later he admits that authorities really don’t know what to make of the medical cannabis situation.
“It is a mess. The medical marijuana law is a very, in my opinion, poorly written law, and…uh…it’s a new law and we’re still learning how to deal with it.”
According to the local news channel, some jurisdictions are “picking up their enforcement” with the likelihood that Arizona voters will vote on an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis use next year. For some reason, Spivey and his fellow jackboots feel the need to prey on medical cannabis patients minding their own business out in the countryside.
“If you’re a medical marijuana user, make sure you understand the intricacies of the law…because if you don’t, we will come out and take your marijuana,” said Spivey.
The intricacies of the law, in the case of Levendoski and his girlfriend, come down to letting a plastic card expire. And this is assuming the cops are telling the truth when they say 33 plants were taken.
Levendoski sums up the asinine nature of this raid.
“They wasted the resources of showing you a medical patient’s grow, and destroying my life. Killing me, essentially killing me.”
They’re in positions of jobs that they can make trouble for medical marijuana patients. So they do.”