Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Washington Medical Patient Bothered in Oregon

Medical marijuana seller busted during buying trip

Oregon doesn't recognize pot permits from other states

Meghann M. Cuniff
meghannc@spokesman. com, (509) 459-5534
August 26, 2009 in City

More than a thousand medical marijuana patients have purchased the drug
at a small dispensary on Northwest Boulevard in Spokane in the nearly
five months it's been open.

Business is booming, and Scott Q. Shupe, co-owner of the dispensary,
intended to keep it that way when he set out for Oregon with thousands
of dollars and a lead on several pounds of marijuana.

Shupe, 54, was driving back from Bend, Ore., on Friday afternoon when an
Oregon State Police trooper pulled him over for crossing the centerline.

That trooper found 4 pounds of marijuana and more than $18,000 in
Shupe's 1993 Chevrolet Cavalier station wagon – supplies
destined for his dispensary, he said.

Shupe's status as a medical marijuana patient in Washington
didn't matter. Oregon doesn't recognize medical marijuana
permits from other states.

Even if it did, patients and caregivers are limited to 1.5 pounds at

Shupe is back in Spokane after posting $7,500 bond.

His arrest underscores the dichotomy between medical marijuana patients
and police and prosecutors charged with enforcing drug laws.

Washington's medical marijuana law, approved by voters in 1998 and
adjusted later by the Legislature, doesn't specify how card-carrying
medical marijuana users can obtain fresh bud or how caretakers can
legally obtain seeds to grow their own. The law also doesn't address
how dispensaries such as Shupe's can obtain their supplies.

Spokane County prosecutors have said they believe dispensaries such as
Change, which Shupe owns with Christopher Stevens, violate the medical
marijuana laws because they provide marijuana to more than one person.

But how they'll address that remains to be seen.

Federal law prohibits marijuana use, even for medicinal purposes, but
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he won't target medical
marijuana users.

Locally, police and prosecutors work together to decide who to target
and how.

Darren McCrea, founder of the medical-marijuana advocacy group
SpoCannabis, was charged Aug. 4 in an investigation that began in
October 2007 and culminated with a police raid in June 2008 on his north
Spokane home, where detectives found more than 5 pounds of marijuana,
according to a probable cause affidavit.

McCrea faces charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent
to deliver, manufacture of a controlled substance and five counts of
distribution of a controlled substance.

McCrea's situation is similar to Shupe's. Court papers show
police heard McCrea was "selling marijuana to anyone with a medical

The shelves at Change were nearly empty Tuesday. Two jars of fresh
marijuana sat where Shupe said at least six usually do.

Shupe is hopeful he'll get his marijuana and money returned, but
Wasco County (Ore.) District Attorney Eric Nisley said the law isn't
in his favor.

"It's going to be a tough one for him," Nisley said.
"He's probably looking at prison if he's convicted."

http://www.spokesma 2009/aug/ 26/medical- marijuana- seller-bu\
sted-during- buying-trip/

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