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Marijuana Collective Subject of FOX News Reports

FOX11 News airs segments on the ongoing court battle between Greenhouse Cannabis Club and the city of Murrieta.

A marijuana collective accused of operating illegally in Murrieta has been the subject of FOX11 News reports this week.

The TV news channel was present at a court hearing Thursday at Southwest Justice Center regarding an unlawful detainer (eviction) proceeding that has been filed against Greenhouse Cannabis Club.

In addition to covering the hearing, the news channel delved into what the collective owner, Eric McNeil, and his attorney, Richard Ackerman, claim are civil rights violations by the Murrieta Police Department.

In a FOX11 News report Thursday, Kevin Ford, a volunteer at Greenhouse Cannabis Club, tells reporters that Murrieta police rigged his car with a GPS unit.

Ford was pulled over in January as he was returning to the club, he told Patch Friday.

He spent the night in jail after he was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. It was while his car was impounded that he believes police placed the GPS unit on the bottom of his car.

Ford said he discovered the GPS unit about a week later.

When asked about the alleged tracking device, Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad sent this statement to Patch:

"Law enforcement has been using tracking devices on vehicles as an investigative tool when we are investigating a criminal case and/or criminal enterprises. They are common in narcotics type cases. The Murrieta Police Department is no different. It should be noted, in a recent case heard by the US Supreme Court (U.S. v. Jones), as of Feb 24, 2012, law enforcement officers are required to obtain a court order before placing a tracker on a vehicle.

"The Murrieta Police Department is aware of this new case law and abides by it always. Prior to this case law, law enforcement was permitted to place trackers at their own discretion."

Greenhouse Cannabis Club alleges the placement of the GPS unit is one example of the poor treatment they claim to be receiving from the city of Murrieta.

"We are not doing anything illegal, we are being discreet and they are the opposite of discreet," McNeil told Patch Friday.

The club was . The agents were assisted by Murrieta police.

"It was very obvious they came in here to financially hurt us," said McNeil, who has been charged with contempt of court for reopening despite a that the club serve no more than two patients.

Ackerman called the order "extremely vague," which is why he said he advised McNeil to see patients on an appointment basis, no more than two at a time.

A jury is set to decide whether McNeil is guilty of the contempt charge. The trial is slated to start June 1 in Riverside.

In addition, a jury will decide whether the eviction order should stand. That trial is scheduled for April 9 in Corona.

While medical marijuana is legal in California, the city of Murrieta has bans in place on medical marijuana dispensaries. In addition to a court battle with McNeil, the city is involved in a suit over that opened in summer 2011 on Madison Avenue.

McNeil said he would love to sit down with Murrieta City Council in a closed door meeting.

"Just to sit down and talk, maybe we can hash things out," he said. "It is getting out of control.

"They can peacefully walk into our place and see what is going on, we want to extend that arm."

FOX11 News was expected to continue their coverage of Greenhouse Cannabis Club Friday and Saturday, McNeil said.

951er March 31, 2012 at 05:54 AM
Mr. McNeil, As a member of the cannabis community I politely request that you refrain from your efforts to fight the city council and police department. You gave it a shot and we commend you. But we must live to fight another day. Just wait for the CA Supreme Court to give us an answer about whether cities and counties can ban collectives. Until then all you're doing is making our community look uncooperative and combative. Understand that a significant majority or your neighbors don't want you openly selling weed in their town. Open a delivery service if you want to serve patients! Bringing the feds into town is scaring the $h!t out of everyone.
Ziggy Sirjack March 31, 2012 at 10:12 AM
Much a do about nothing. This needs to stop. There's even a new comedy film called Gone to Pot that is running a free video contest asking people submit a 45 sec or less video explaining why they love marijuana. The top 10 videos will appear in their film and the top 3 will share $10,000. They've even got celeb judges like comedian Margaret Cho and Academy Award nominated director Peter Bogdanovich. Facebook.com/gonetopotmovie
Roberto March 31, 2012 at 10:30 PM
GPS tracking citizens in Rail Road County. It's all about the mighty dollar and when it collapses, the people who can leave will leave. Those who continue to believe we have civil liberties, freedom and constitutional rights must be smoking crack in corrupt Amerika. Amerika is nothing but S----hole.
Faith McNeil March 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM
I think the city should worry about the drunks leaving the bars and restaurants in town. You don't read about people smoking pot and killing people.
Flutie Flambert March 31, 2012 at 11:34 PM
The problem here is neither cannabis nor its consumers. The problem is the police who have shredded our constitution and deprived us of our 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th amendment rights. The drug war has militarized our police and turned them against us.
Flutie Flambert March 31, 2012 at 11:40 PM
"On July 29, 2008, my family and I were terrorized by an errant Prince George's County SWAT team. This unit forced entry into my home without a proper warrant, executed our beloved black Labradors, Payton and Chase, and bound and interrogated my mother-in-law and me for hours as they ransacked our belongings… As I was forced to kneel, bound at gun point on my living room floor, I recall thinking that there had been a terrible mistake. However, as I have learned more, I have to understand that what my family and I experience is part of a growing and troubling trend where law enforcement is relying on SWAT teams to perform duties once handled by ordinary police officers."—Maryland Mayor Cheye Calvo in testimony before the Maryland Senate
Flutie Flambert March 31, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Thanks to our war on cannabis: This Montana landlord who didn't smoke, sell, or grow cannabis: http://missoulian.com/news/local/flathead-valley-landlord-faces-prison-for-tenants-medical-marijuana-operation/article_388244f8-7636-11e1-8797-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz1q9M5vIgM Is facing more jail time than known arsonist and convicted Montana rapist Kyle Eugene Avery: http://www.kpax.com/mobile/viewstory.cfm?n=60653
Roberto April 01, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Civil rights are gone. In particular in Riverside County where overcharging, fabricated charges & circumventing due proces is the norm. Think of the D.A. as a used Car Salesman and the Judge as the Used Car Sales Manager. This is what a plea deal is. FYI....I just registered to vote in Rail Road County and received a jury summons 3 months later. On my personal E-mail, I immediatly received a politicaI solicitation. I won't make that mistake again. Corrupt and sick to the core.
Andy April 01, 2012 at 12:28 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4el6EGqcUw Stop the war on cannabis!
Andy April 01, 2012 at 12:54 AM
The reason why medical cannabis is even around is because people like McNeil fought for their right to have a dispensary and provide safe access to cannabis for patients. Being silent and doing nothing will not get you very far. Many people in almost every county across the state are also having to go through what Mr. McNeil is going through. Show some support.
Westcoastliberal April 01, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Quite the contrary 951er, Mr. McNeil is one of those rare people who stands up for what he believes in. He didn't "bring the feds to town", they had no business here in the 1st place-Medical Cannabis is LEGAL in CA and this is a states rights issue. The Murrieta city council and PD are totally out of line with state law, and have zero compassion for patient's rights. They have no regard for those Medical Cannabis patients in pain due to their misinformed decisions. I'd like to see how they would defend a class action lawsuit in this regard and I believe a recall of the mayor, city council, and police chief are in order. I hope Mr. McNeil prevails in his current legal situation and would like to see him prevail with large damage awards in a suit against the city.
eric mcneil April 01, 2012 at 02:35 AM
thank you andy, westcoast for your comments. my lawyer has advised me that we could file a large civil suit against the city for the civil rights violations that have occurred, but that would not be fair to the murrieta tax payers who would be fronting the bill. i was raised and taught to fight for what i believe in. i have lost some battles and won just as many. but i have NEVER been a quitter. this is the biggest fight of my life, and i do not know what the outcome will be. I am thankful for all my supporters and family who stood by my side through this. once again thank you for all the support.
Free the plant April 01, 2012 at 08:40 AM
951er you are clearly not memeber of the cannabis community. Here is quote from Murrieta patch march16th after the DEA raid. "Federal agents with the help of Murrieta police raided a medical marijuana dispensary this week. Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad confirmed four special enforcement Murrieta police detectives assisted federal agents in the warrant service."The warrant also went into detail about Murrieta police surveillance of Greenhouse Cannabis Club. On one occasion, a client was stopped by an officer as he left. He was initially stopped for using his cellphone while driving. While speaking with the officer, he admitted to purchasing marijuana at the club, the warrant stated." This is not a client, this a medical patient with dr patient confidentiality privileges. You would be outraged if a Murrieta police officer followed you from a pharmacy and asked you about your medicine that is legal by state law, that is confidential private information between you and your dr that police do not have the right to ask about. Our tax dollars are being wasted on law enforcement pulling over legal patients. Murrieta police should be looking for CRIME. What did the patient do? Was he arrested? No? Was his medicine seized? No. Because he was not committing a crime. He was obeying the law. He was being harassed and targeted for being a medical patient.
Free the plant April 01, 2012 at 09:32 AM
951er here is your answer as far as waiting for the California Supreme Court to decide on this matter. They have already made a decision related to this case in People v. Tilehkooh (2003) "The People have misunderstood the role that the federal law plays in the state system. The California courts long ago recognized that state courts do not enforce the federal criminal statutes. Also BERKELEY — Medical marijuana advocates filed a lawsuit Tuesday demanding California Highway Patrol officers stop confiscating pot from authorized users. So it may be time to sue them to get them to stop targeting medical patients and their private medical records.
Free the plant April 01, 2012 at 09:53 AM
In this time of recession and budget crisis we must demand that the Murrieta police stop enforcing federal law, and enforce state law as they are suppose to uphold the constitution of the state of California and make better choices who to go after. Some one send this memo to Murrieta council and Murrieta PD. California State Agencies Must Enforce Medical Marijuana Law Under our federalist system of government, the states, rather than the federal government, are entrusted to exercise a general police power for the benefit of their citizens. Due to this constitutional division of authority between the federal government and the states, the State of California may elect to decriminalize conduct, such as medical marijuana activity, which remains illegal under federal law. Even if law enforcement officers take a personal position on any conflict between state and federal law, they are bound by California's Constitution to uphold state law. Under California's medical marijuana laws, patients and caregivers are exempt from prosecution by the State of California, notwithstanding contrary federal law.
Charlotte April 01, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Come on, what ever happened to defending our rights as citizens. Bring it on feds.....
G-monkey April 01, 2012 at 02:14 PM
700 club Pat Robertson quote: “I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” Mr. Robertson said in an interview on Wednesday. “I’ve never used marijuana and I don’t intend to, but it’s just one of those things that I think: this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.”
Cindy Petersen April 01, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Mr. McNeil, how in the world did you do this? Getting so much media attention? As a patient, I'm so happy this is happening. What is making G.H.C.C. different from all the other dispensaries? Please share so we can help!
eric mcneil April 02, 2012 at 12:57 AM
cindy we hired an investigative firm consisting of retired dea, police, and sheriff. they were appalled by the actions the city of murrieta and contacted the media. i hope this is a step in the right direction. i know that this is happening in other cities as well. hopefully co-op directors will come forward and tell their stories as well. we need all support we can get. thank you for the support.
eric mcneil April 02, 2012 at 01:49 AM
this is the web site of the investigative firm. you can see the bio's of the team. getbitinvestigations.com
Les April 02, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Les Death by medicine is a 21st-century epidemic, and Murrieta's "war on drugs" is clearly directed at the wrong enemy! The number one killer is the manufatured prescription drug. The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS -- or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day. The city really needs to get thier heads out of their behinds. Stop violating people civil rights and taking inapproprate actions against law abiding citizens . To waste my tax dollars by putting a tracking deivces on people who are running legal operations. Get your priorities right.
cindy petersen April 04, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Thanks for the info Eric. More co-ops need to raise the bar like you guys are doing. I think the Investigative firm is a great idea. (They look more like attorneys) , incredible backgrounds. Just be sure they are not working for the other side!
SS Doogan April 21, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Correct, Riverside Sheriff allowed witnessed thieves to steal my plants in February...and didn't tell me. When I called to press charges on the known criminals they investigated me instead. They came to my home yesterday...the day they figured my old Dr. rec. would be expired with a search warrant and twelve cops. Although I had renewed my rec...they took every bit of my medication, my PC, phone, vandalized my home and I spent 4/20 - 2012 in jail for "CULTIVATION". Which I'm allowed to do per the WRITTEN LAW, except here?

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