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Protesters: Legal marijuana users are unfairly targeted

July 21, 2010

By:Terry Camp
SAGINAW (WJRT) — (07/21/10) — Medical marijuana advocates held a protest over recent raids in the Saginaw area – raids of homes of people with medical marijuana cards.

The target of the protesters was the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department.

There were about 100 medical marijuana advocates encouraging motorists to honk their horns in support. But the biggest noise came when Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel showed up.

Protesters came from across the state to vent their frustrations with law enforcement agencies conducting raids on homes that have registered medical marijuana users.

“Everyone here believes in what we are trying to do for people,” said John Roberts.

Roberts’ Saginaw County home was raided by the Drug Enforcement Agency a few days after a similar protest was held. “People think we are nothing but dope smokers and we want to smoke a joint all the time,” Roberts said, “and it’s ridiculous. This is a true medicine. This is what we are providing for a six-year-old child.”

“We enforce the laws when we get tips on it,” explained Sheriff Federspiel.

Federspiel’s department has been involved in some of the raids. “If you are allowed to have 20 marijuana plants under this new law and you have 50, you should be cited for having 30 plants more than you should have,” he said.

Ed Boyke called for Federspiel’s ouster. “We need him out of office.”

Boyke’s home was also raided. He’s now part of a campaign to recall the sheriff, but admits he doesn’t have many petition signatures.

Federspiel showed up at the protest in a Dodge Charger that was seized through the drug forfeiture law. He says he’s just enforcing the law, and the protesters need to direct their anger toward the people who write the laws.

“I think they should be in Lansing or in Washington, not with me. But again, if they want to stand on the corner, good for them,” Federspiel said.

The protest across from the Saginaw County Courthouse lasted about four hours.

(Copyright ©2010 WJRT-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
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