September 15, 2010 DRYDEN — The village's medical marijuana dispensary was raided for the second time last Wednesday (Sept. 8) afternoon.
This time, says dispensary co-owner Randy Crowel, patient records were confiscated and the downtown building has been padlocked.
On Tues., Aug. 31, the Dryden Compassionate Care Center, 5493 Main Street, was the subject of a search conducted by the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department; resulting in the seizure of 49 marijuana plants, 34 ounces of processed product and about $3,700 in cash.
Sheriff Ron Kalanquin alleged the Dryden business had been acting illegally by allowing medical marijuana to be dispensed from patient to patient, though no arrests were made.
At the time, Crowel questioned the timing of raid, saying he had agreed to meet with county law enforcement officials the day before (Mon., Aug. 30), hoping to iron out differences and establish ground rules for the legal and unfettered dispensing of medical marijuana.
Crowel later said he was dismayed by the tone and outcome of the meeting, suggesting he felt he had been ambushed.
Last Tuesday (Sept. 7), Crowel continued to deny any wrongdoings and vowed he would reopen the dispensary and continue serving medical marijuana patients. Within 24 hours, the facility was raided for the second time.
"I think this is all about stopping legal marijuana— period." says Crowel. "I think they're breaking the law. It's getting ugly and stupid. The only people we're serving are medical marijuana patients."
Crowel's attorney, Jim Rasor of Royal Oak, claims his client has conducted his business within the constraints of the Medical Marihuana Act, enacted in 2008.
"It seems the law enforcement community is trying to circumvent a law approved by the people," says Rasor. "We believe what they have done is a violation of patients' privacy rights. Can you imagine if a sheriff went into your doctor's office and took your records?"
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.