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Suit seeks return of marijuana plants

By Associated Press


HILO » Five Puna residents are suing Hawaii County and the police to get their confiscated marijuana plants back.

Two lawsuits seek the return of dozens of marijuana plants or more than $250,000 in compensation.

The plaintiffs say police seized the plants during a 2012 raid at the Fern Acres subdivision in Mountain View, even though the plaintiffs had valid medical marijuana cards and permission to grow the plants.

One lawsuit filed last month involves 28 plants; another filed last week involves 24. Both ask for the plants to be returned, or for $5,000 per plant.

Taking the plants was "grossly unjustified, wrongful and improper," according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of Bradley Snow, Frank Locke, Tamara Brooke and Marsha Swanson.

Police had no reports about the plants and there was no mention of the incident in the Hawaii Police Department's June 14, 2012, bulletin, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Tuesday.

"You can't just take people's property," said Michael Doyle Ruggles, who filed the second lawsuit.

A police spokeswoman said the department doesn't discuss pending litigation. The county did not immediately comment.

"These folks all had medical marijuana cards and permission to grow that number of plants on the property, and the police officers completely disregarded their certificates," said attorney Ivan Van Leer, who filed the first lawsuit.

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Slow wrote:
A Big Island friend,a gentle-spirited Viet Nam vet living in Puna was foolish and naive. He had marijuana plants around his home. He said it was like Viet Nam when the police flew in with a helicopter and yanked the plants. No one cares about the plants. The police have to justify their budgets and their jobs. Many here suspect that the police keep confiscated cash and do not turn in all the confiscated marijuana. No wonder they rallied at the state capitol against legalization. It is all about jobs protection. Police need and want more crime.
on June 12,2014 | 06:13AM
Bdpapa wrote:
I hope your suspicions are wrong, but I think they keep some cash and stash for themselves also.
on June 12,2014 | 06:44AM
paulokada wrote:
Do you really believe that they want more crime? Don't fool yourself to justify it.
on June 12,2014 | 07:25AM
Slow wrote:
No dangerous and foolish helicopter raids means the budget gets renewed. In the real world you spend your allocated money or you get less next year. Cops probably don't ant actual crime. What they want and need is criminalizing acceptable safe stuff. Too dangerous busting meth labs and dealers. Bullying gentle hippies is a lot safer. No "crime," no need for police. Talk to their union about it.
on June 12,2014 | 07:44AM
Slow wrote:
No crime = no need for cops. More crime = more cops. There is a big incentive to create and maintain crimes. And flying around yanking pot plants not only keeps the money coming in and the cops employed, but it is a lot less dangerous than going after heroin and meth dealers.
on June 12,2014 | 08:07AM
paulokada wrote:
Can't say they're dumb. You know the rules.
on June 12,2014 | 06:00PM
paulokada wrote:
$250,000 worth of drugs? You must be high or selling it.
on June 12,2014 | 07:03AM
Slow wrote:
Seems to be an inflated value. Exactly like the police when they pull a pot plant, weigh the dirt ball, the roots, the stems and leaves, and take the gross weight. Then we read that 100 pounds of marijuana was confiscated. At $400 an ounce this is a trillion billion dollar drug bust! Or was it a few ounces of marijuana?
on June 12,2014 | 08:11AM
paulokada wrote:
Not inflated. He's selling the surplus.
on June 12,2014 | 05:58PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Who's the lolo that took my pakalolo....
on June 12,2014 | 09:21AM
Bully wrote:
I would say that it was an illegal search and seizure of law abiding citizens.The cops didn't even have a warrant.
on June 12,2014 | 09:27AM
Ripoff wrote:
lol chronics......
on June 12,2014 | 09:54AM
seaborn wrote:
Cops are no longer legally allowed to have sex with prostitutes, so they retaliate by stealing peoples' plants. If cops can't have sex, at least they can get high.
on June 12,2014 | 09:58AM
Mr_Ton wrote:
What BS. Total hippy losers. Move to Colorado forever.
on June 12,2014 | 12:19PM
false wrote:
Or………legalize it.
on June 12,2014 | 02:39PM
Bdpapa wrote:
on June 12,2014 | 08:45PM