Bakersfield Medical Marijuana Coop Raided

May 7 – Kern County deputies accompanied by two DEA agents served a search warrant yesterday at the Green Cross Compassionate Co-Op Bakersfield. Deputies said they found two pounds of “high grade” marijuana and two loaded handguns. Three men, Albert Juarez, 40; Adam Romero Valenzuela, 27; and Brandon Neal Luck, 24 were arrested and charged with selling and possessing marijuana as well as conspiracy. The raid came two days after Bakersfield ABC affiliate KERO visited the club, interviewing a patient who said, “I had to go to L.A. paying $140 for a months worth of medication, and all I have to pay here is $50.” Sheriff Donny Youngblood said in the story that the operators would be going to jail. “If you’re going to be a co-op or collective, why would you need a business front? Why would you need to advertise? That’s all crap, this is all about making money by selling marijuana,” said Youngblood. CalNORML spoke to a security guard and a manager of the cooperative, both of whom were present at the raid. The guard, who was in uniform, said he had a licensed .40 calibre handgun in plain sight. He said the other gun was also licensed and in plain sight, holstered with a safety snap. Both said there was a little more than a pound on the premises and contrary to the news report on KERO, all patients were signed up as coop members. The Sheriff, working with the DEA, closed down all six medical marijuana dispensaries in Bakersfield in 2007. David Chavez and others involved in Nature’s Medicinal in Bakersfield will be in court on Federal charges on June 29 in Fresno 1:30 PM.

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