Cops Harass and Arrest Sick People at Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Event
Last weekend (May 16-17, 2015), the LVMPD, who constantly complain about how understaffed they are, managed to find enough people on their payroll to stake out, threaten, and harass or even arrest a group of sick people, because they didn’t jump through some of the proper hoops relating to the medication that they are actually legally allowed to possess and use.
People who were there described seeing police dogs around the event, as well as officers on the roof of the building, apparently looking for people smoking marijuana.
The arrests outraged event organizers, and some attendees said they left patients frightened as Nevada’s first legal dispensaries prepare to open.
“It’s disheartening for our whole community,” said Jennifer Solis, who’s with Wellness Education Cannabis Advocates of Nevada, or WECAN, and was at the event.
From Friday to Sunday, officers shut down five booths, arrested 10 people and cited three others on charges including drug possession, possession with intent to sell and transporting a controlled substance, said officer Laura Meltzer, a Metro spokeswoman. She said officers seized marijuana, hashish, marijuana seeds, edible products containing THC and psilocybin mushrooms…
“It just seems like a waste of resources,” said (Jason) Sturtsman, who was not at the event but heard about the arrests.
People who were there said police seemed to become more aggressive as the weekend went on.
On Friday, officers arrested some people who were selling marijuana, said Kurt Duchac, a board member of WECAN. Duchac said those arrests were understandable, since it’s illegal to sell without a license.
But on Saturday, he said, officers started arresting patients who were peacefully using marijuana in their cars. And on Sunday, a SWAT vehicle showed up and officers were on the roof of the building.
“They were targeting patients, people for simply having it on them,” Duchac said. “They were running dogs through there.”
Inside, Duchac said, officers were “trashing” booths and ripping open boxes looking for drugs. People gathered around to watch, with some filming police and yelling at them.
“It was ugly,” Duchac said.
The stated reason for the crack down was that, while Nevada does have legal medical marijuana, it’s actually illegal to sell marijuana without a dispensary license. Of course, the biggest flaw with that is the simple fact that Nevada doesn’t actually have any dispensaries yet. So, all the people that are legally allowed to use medical marijuana, but are either too sick or just not able to grow their own for whatever reason, are excluded from the medication that the state acknowledges they are legally entitled to.
Beyond that, you have to pay millions of dollars to become one of the very few people allowed to run a dispensary (which once again, don’t actually exist yet) in Nevada. Since another part of the laws that set up dispensaries involves removing the right for patients to grow their own marijuana, it also brings into question whether some of those chosen few might be throwing some of that money and influence they used to get in on that monopoly market around in order to eliminate the competition and intimidate those who are fighting that restriction.