Editor’s Note: Primarily known as a cannabis patient advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access released a press release this week with suggestions for cannabis producers on what to say and not to say to law enforcement if your farm is raided. The focus is being able to easily prove compliance and protect yourself if law enforcement proceeds anyway. Let us know your thoughts on their suggestions in the comments. — Allison
Americans for Safe Access would like farmers to know they can take some precautionary measure to help secure their property should they be visited by (or concerned about) a visit from law enforcement. The following information is not meant to be legal advice and folks with questions should consult with their attorney.
First off, it’s always a good idea to prepare a farm folder that shows all pertinent regulatory compliance information. Make sure that the materials in the farm folder are copies and store the originals away from the farm where they are safe.
- Small domestic water use permit from the water boards (everyone needs this)
- If using ground water – 1602 permit from DFW
- If drawing water from a well – the county permit for the well
- If storing water in a tank, bladder or container of 5.000 gallons or more, the County permit for the tank and the flat it sits on
- If the farm has flats or terraces that are man made then the county permits, or paperwork from the engaged engineer helping the land owner file the permit paperwork
- Prop 215 compliance paperwork such as patient recommendations, articles of incorporation, dispensary contracts, collective agreements, etc.
- Tape a copy of the farm folder to the garden gate, or main entrance into the cartilage of the property/homestead area. Farm folders can be posted in multiple locations if that feels appropriate.
If there is concern about law enforcement activity in your neighborhood and/or a visit from law enforcement consider taking the following steps to prepare your family and property.
- Remove all guns and ammo from the property and never store on the same property where medical cannabis is grown or present.
- Remove all valuables such as cash, jewelry, passports, etc.
- Mark the water level in your water thanks with chalk, noting today’s date and photo the marked tank as well as the outgoing intact waterline.
- Do the same for any fuel reserves on site.
- Photo all medical cannabis gardens and collective or patient information. Try to show that the medical and compliance paperwork is clearly visible and pertaining to the garden in the pictures you take.
- Upload these photos to a Dropbox or a cloud-based file that is accessible regardless of loss of phone, camera, or computer.
Set up a phone tree with your neighbors and know who, if any, of your neighbors are available to be citizen observers. During the days of CAMP, peaceful citizen observation was key to reducing inappropriate law enforcement actions. All citizen observation needs to be polite and non-confrontational.
ASA strongly urges that cultivators have their paperwork on site at all times. If you wish to remain at your location, be prepared with your complete paperwork and remember that ASA recommends exercising your Fifth Amendment right by saying “I choose to remain silent.” to any questions and then remain silent. More information about your rights is available here.
Law enforcement sightings and interactions can be reported to KMUD radio, Kym Kemp of Redheaded Blackbelt, or to Kristin Nevedal of Americans for Safe Access.
KMUD – 707-923-3911
Kym Kemp – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Nevedal – 707-498-9877 or Kristin@safeaccessnow.org