In this liveblogging post, Montana NORML is sharing rumors and reports as they come in, and confirming them as time allows.
As the rate of information flow was slowed considerably, we’ll stop updating this liveblog post as of Wednesday night, March 16th, 2011. For the latest Montana marijuana news, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or email.
6:00PM – Growing number of medical marijuana dispensaries, no regulation laws: http://www.kpax.com/news/growing-number-of-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-no-regulation-laws/
5:45PM – Rumor: 40 federal agents checked into the Hampton Inn in Missoula yesterday morning.
4:30PM – Statewide protests begin in 30 minutes. http://blog.montananorml.org/2011/03/15/montana-medical-marijuana-federal-raid-protests/
11:18AM – CNN picks up the story: http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/03/16/montana.marijuana.raids/
5:20AM – “thousands of marijuana plants, computers, cell phones, patient lists and other related items were whisked away by federal agents in an unprecedented statewide crackdown” http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110316/NEWS01/103160304/1002/news01/State-s-U-S-attorney-defends-medical-marijuana-raids
5:11AM – Analysis: The Bureaucracies that marijuana feeds: http://www.newswithviews.com/Timothy/baldwin159.htm
5:00AM – “If the federal government is changing their stance, I think it would be fair to let everybody know and give people a chance to bow out.” – http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/article_df545e30-4f66-11e0-ade4-001cc4c03286.html
Wednesday, 4:54AM “It felt like a serious armed robbery to me.” – http://helenair.com/news/article_cf075fb2-4f95-11e0-8899-001cc4c03286.html
6:06PM – Some grisly details of the federal investigation, millions in cash allegedly deposited: http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/article_01f9d21f-b862-5ae5-bd48-7b17723d869d.html
5:57PM – National Cannabis Industry Association weighs in: http://coloradoindependent.com/79239/feds-raid-montana-medical-marijuana-operations
5:55PM – Medical cannabis shop re-opens one day after raid: http://www.kxlf.com/news/raided-marijuana-facility-back-open-with-limited-inventory/
5:31PM – Demand Progress launches an action alert on the Montana raids: http://act.demandprogress.org/act/medicalmarijuana/
5:20PM – An analysis of why the federal government decided to conduct the medical marijuana raids in Montana: http://forfeiturereform.com/2011/03/15/montana-raids-drug-war/
5:07PM – Federal agents have seized $4 million in Montanans’ assets: http://www.belgrade-news.com/news/article_56705f02-4f47-11e0-b342-001cc4c03286.html
4:20PM – Justice Department released their press statement: MJ Press Release FINAL
2:22PM – Statewide raid protests announced: http://blog.montananorml.org/2011/03/15/montana-medical-marijuana-federal-raid-protests/
12:16PM – Video: Former U.S. Attorney discusses Montana raids – http://www.ktvq.com/videoplayer/?video_id=5640
12:12PM – Bozeman newspaper reporter was asked to stop photographing federal agents at the scene of a raid yesterday: http://twitter.com/#!/bozchron/status/47391170241888257
11:53AM – NBC affiliate wants to hear from patients affected by the raids: http://twitter.com/#!/BeartoothNBC/status/47715155026526208
9:05AM – RUMOR: More federal warrants to be served today.
8:54AM – Owner of MCM predicted that federal officials seized between $50,000 and $100,000 worth of marijuana plants and equipment Monday. http://www.kbzk.com/news/marijuana-plants-equipment-being-hauled-away-from-belgrade-shop/
8:07AM – Belgrade raid: “They put my dispenser up against the wall and put her in handcuffs — scared the crap out of her.”: http://www.belgrade-news.com/mobile/article_1cb7f4a0-4eb1-11e0-aa4e-001cc4c03286.html
7:25AM – Pics posted from Helena greenhouse raided and cleaned out by federal agents: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=47846&id=100000629497405&fbid=196742730356709
2:49AM – Office of the United States Attorney General Public Comment Line – 202-353-1555
2:48AM – “Federal level police actions being timed to correspond with relevant state legislative votes. What’s the message behind that?” http://cannabisandculture.com/post/3872207477/montana-medical-marijuana-repeal-and-the-federal-raids
Tuesday, 2:12AM – “Then at a very critical moment, suddenly the big brother heel of federal government comes down on growers and providers. … It certainly feels like a calculated attempt to influence Montana decision-making.” – Tom Daubert http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_eae07e58-4e7d-11e0-aa23-001cc4c03286.html
11:59PM – ASA Director Steph Sherer weighs in on Montana’s federal raids. http://www.ktvq.com/news/billings-medical-marijuana-community-in-shock-over-statewide-raids/
10:52PM – What you can do about the federal raids in Montana: http://mailman.modwest.com/pipermail/mtnorml-list/2011-March/000220.html
10:04PM – NBC Montana publishes a search warrant for Bigsky Patient Care (large PDF): http://www.nbcmontana.com/download/2011/0315/27195983.pdf
9:48PM – Homeland Security took the lead in Flathead raids. http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_893eb730-4eb1-11e0-b931-001cc4c002e0.html
9:42PM – At least one raided caregiver had his home raided as well. Caregivers should assume/prepare for that.
8:29PM – Federal warrant sought “marijuana and hashish, drug paraphernalia, computers and other electronic storage devices, cell phones, firearms, transportation and customer records, transaction records, cash, jewelry and vehicle titles.” http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/a9ef98ed05cf44f9be84d4ec28d2da30/MT–Medical-Marijuana-Raids/
8:18PM – We’re told that Natural Medicine of Great Falls was also raided today.
6:06PM – Americans for Forfeiture Reform is covering the story and sharing valuable info on asset forfeiture: http://forfeiturereform.com/2011/03/14/breaking-dea-raids-in-montana/
5:58PM – We’re told that in some raids, federal agents took everything, including lights and ballasts and other equipment.
5:56PM – We’re told that DEA and FBI agents are still hanging around the Good Medicine dispensary in Columbia Falls, and have blocked anyone from pulling into the parking lot. Northern Lights, 4 Seasons, and CEG reportedly shut down.
5:51PM – The U.S. Attorney overseeing the raids is the Financial Litigation Unit Chief. http://www.mbcc.mt.gov/resources/directory/federal/dir-d-usattorneys.asp
5:47PM - We hear that Outlaw Hill Health in Livingston was also a victim of the raids.
5:08PM – $456,000 worth of marijuana confiscated from one location. http://www.cnbc.com/id/42078047
5:00PM – We received a phone call from criminal defense attorney Craig Shannon who offered this advice for everyone: You are not obligated to answer any questions. You are not obligated to let anyone in without a warrant. You are not obligated to consent to any search. Even innocent questions like “Are you a caregiver?” or “Are you a patient?” are parts of an investigatory strategy and can and will be used against you in court. Once given, you cannot take back your answers. It might feel uncooperative to assert these rights, but it’s actually patriotic. Call your local lawyer to discuss.
4:37PM – We’ve been contacted by Americans for Forfeiture Reform. Victims of these raids should all contact them as well.
4:20PM – Across Montana, terror and rage evolves into disciplined and focused resolve.
3:47PM – Big Sky Patient Care and MCM in Bozeman raided, DEA news release to become available soon: http://www.kxlf.com/news/update-law-enforcement-converge-on-montana-medical-marijuana-businesses/
3:16PM – “They’re seizing everything – plants, marijuana, grow equipment, files and computers.” – http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_eae07e58-4e7d-11e0-aa23-001cc4c03286.html
3:08PM – If you have been raided or arrested, FAX a copy of the warrant to ASA at: 510-251-2036
2:46PM – GF Tribune reports 8 people in handcuffs at Montana Cannabis in Helena. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110314/NEWS01/110314019/Four-Montana-medical-marijuana-business-raided
2:30PM – Received a report that Four Seasons Gardening and Northern Light Medical (Kalispell) have been raided by federal officials and served warrants for money laundering.
2:20PM – Received a report that Yellowstone Patient Care in Billings is being raided. And Montana Cannabis’ store in Missoula.
2:08PM – Good Medicine Providers in Columbia Falls raided. http://helenair.com/news/article_6f5888e6-4e75-11e0-b983-001cc4c002e0.html
1:57PM – ASA is collecting reports from anyone who has been raided: 510.251.1856 or toll-free 888.929.4367
1:49PM – Just got a call about a raid in the Bitterroot somewhere. Trying to get confirmation.
1:45PM – So far we are hearing rumors of the following being raided by DEA, ATF, and local law enforcement officials:
- Montana Cannabis in Helena: http://www.kxlh.com/news/law-enforcement-converges-on-medical-marijuana-business/
- MCM in Belgrade/Bozeman
- Reverend Chachi in Bozeman
- Big Sky Patient Care in Bozeman
- An unnamed Flathead grower
We will update this page as more info becomes available.