The nice people at Americans for Safe Access sent me a document with tips for protecting your legal medical marijuana garden from experiencing issues with law enforcement interactions. This is a very popular time of year for visits from law enforcement, so I think these tips are very important to know. Please pass them along to people that need to know this information:
ASA would like farmers to know that they can take some precautionary measure this time of year 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.
1. Small domestic water use permit from the water boards (everyone needs this) http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/registrations/
2. If drawing water from a spring, creek, stream, or river; if the property has been subject to activities that have changed or used any material from a bed, channel or bank; or activity has resulted in the deposit of debris, waste or other materials into a river, stream or lake on the property then DFW may require the land owner to engage in the 1602 Lake and Streambed Alteration program - https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/LSA/Forms
3. If drawing water from a well - the county permit for the well
4. 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
5. 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
6. Prop 215 compliance paperwork such as patient recommendations, articles of incorporation, dispensary contracts, collective agreements, etc.
7. 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.
1. Remove all guns and ammo from the property and never store on the same property where medical cannabis is grown or present.
2. Remove all valuables such as cash, jewelry, passports, etc.
3. 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
4. Do the same for any fuel reserves on site
5. 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.
6. Upload these photos to a drop box or 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. For more information about your rights, please visit http://www.safeaccessnow.org/law_enforcement_encounters_know_your_rights
We will be communicating with Redheaded Blackbelt and KMUD radio tomorrow so please tune in for updates. 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