Good morning! My name is Jenn, aka The Healing Cannabist. I’m really looking forward to providing you with ideas, recipes, and all kinds of information about marijuana. I’ve been self-medicating with marijuana since I was a teenager. When I moved to California in 2012, I was definitely surprised by how common and accepted it is to be a medical marijuana patient in that state. I did what I needed to do to become a legal medical patient, but I still felt like I was doing something “wrong”. It’s hard to get over that when you’ve been treated like a criminal because of it for so many years! By the time my family and I moved back to Massachusetts, there was a medical marijuana law on the books called “Chapter 369: An Act for The Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana” (click to read entire scope of law in depth). We became registered medical patients and began to grow our own medicine.
Unfortunately, both my husband and myself have criminal records due to our marijuana use over the past 30 years. My husband grew up in a small town and attracted the attention of a disgruntled classmate-turned-police-officer who spent many years harassing us at any opportunity. We are huge marijuana advocates – always have been, always will be. This police officer, we’ll call him Patrolman Dopey for purposes of this article, took every opportunity over the past 30 years to attempt to accuse us of being involved in everything from guns and ammunition to heroin, cocaine, and hallucinogenics. Our home has been raided 3 times and each time the raid was initiated by Patrolman Dopey and the warrants listed all of those things and more as things they expected to find during said raid. They never found anything other than marijuana, of course, but having those things even listed on a warrant as if you “might” have them looks bad when you go in front of a judge. However, Patrolman Dopey apparently didn’t do his due diligence last time… he neglected to check to see if we were legal medical marijuana patients before initiating his last raid on our home.
Patrolman Dopey showed up with his posse and tore our home apart, all the while hooting and hollering about the marijuana grow operation that they found in our basement. Luckily, I was not home. But my husband Jeremy was. Jeremy tried to explain to them that we were simply growing our own medicine, but they wouldn’t listen. It turned out that Patrolman Dopey had heard we were growing marijuana so he had a “package” delivered to my home – Jeremy opened the door and took the package from the mailman. Thirty seconds later the cops came in with their guns drawn. It turns out the package contained marijuana – what we would call “mids”, which is basically crappy marijuana that we would have absolutely no use for. We are good at what we do and are able to grow our own premium marijuana – there is absolutely no reason for us to have Mexican brown weed delivered to our home. It’s almost comical if it wasn’t so horrifically scary that a police officer can attempt to set you up like this.
The “funniest” part was that after they raided our home and stole our belongings (lots of marijuana, every dime of cash we had in our home or on our person, scales, rolling papers, smoking bowls, and more), they never pressed charges on us! We had immediately hired an attorney, who we very quickly realized was not on our side. Ironically, he worked for NORML, so we assumed he was a patient advocate. When we pressed him to get our belongings returned to us or for charges to be pressed so we could fight them, his response was “Be careful what you wish for.” We fired him for treating us like criminals and 2 days later, charges were pressed against us. This was more than a MONTH after the illegal raid of my home. Make of that what you will – the word I call it is slimey.
We then found 2 great lawyers in Worcester, MA (John Madaio and Jeffrey Goldstein) who totally believed in us and were willing to fight for us. We did, of course, have to spend several thousand dollars in attorney’s fees. We also had at least 7 missed days of work due to court dates. Ultimately, Judge Robert Gardner agreed with us and suppressed the search warrant due to the illegal way it was obtained and he dismissed the case and ordered our belongings returned to us. I felt truly vindicated and absolutely amazed that the right thing actually happened.
Here is a great picture of Sergeant Anthony Papandrea from the West Boylston Police Department handing Jeremy back our marijuana:
The worst part about the whole ordeal was reading articles in the newspaper about it – not one of them had the story straight, and no one ever bothered to contact us! So there are articles with totally wrong information, there are articles that identify Jeremy or myself as people “who wish to remain unnamed” – totally false. We are PROUD of what we do and we were SO PROUD to have not only had the charges against us dismissed, but to have a police officer have to hand us back our medicine! It was awesome.
So eventually, we got 90% of our things back (they refused to give us back some of them and we finally stopped fighting) and we started all over again. Because that’s the kicker – even though we won our case, they had already destroyed our plants. You can’t get that back. And even though I thoroughly enjoy consuming marijuana recreationally, the truth is that I need it medically. I suffer from anxiety, migraine headaches, and ulcerative colitis – all of which I treat with different forms of marijuana. To steal my plants is basically stealing several month’s worth of my medicine! I had to use medicine that came from other people or places, which I really dislike doing. I like knowing exactly what I’m putting into my body and you just can’t be sure if you’re not growing it yourself.
This is just the start of my story. Pop by again sometime if you’d like to learn more. I’ll be posting articles, essays, recipes, links, all kinds of things to keep you interested and to hopefully teach you about the many benefits of marijuana.