hawaii medical marijuana
Medical Marijuana Policy

Arrested Hawaii Medical Marijuana Collective Owner Launches Fundraising Campaign

hawaii medical marijuanaI received the following press release:

Big Island man Mike Ruggles launched a crowdfunding campaign this week to help pay for legal fees after being arrested for opening Hawaii’s first medical marijuana collective. Ruggles says this is an opportunity to help set legal precedence to establish medical marijuana collectives in Hawaii.

Ruggles had opened the Alternative Pain Management Pu’uhonua Collective on January 2nd, where patients with a medical marijuana certification could transfer marijuana between themselves. In order to stay in compliance with the 4 ounce limit members could dispose of their excess marijuana to other members in need. According to former nurse and collective volunteer Brittany Neal, “the marijuana itself was not ‘sold’ but rather ‘transferred’ for just compensation at a cost set by each member that included the electricity, fertilizer, and other direct costs that went into creating the marijuana.”

Collective members also had access to tinctures, concentrates, a MyDx purity testing machine, a vacuum purge oven, and consultation on cultivation, processing, and consumption of medical marijuana.

After the police raided and arrested Ruggles on September 10th, the collective has since closed, and Hawaii marijuana patients are back to finding medicine through the black market or going without. Ruggles is being charged with running an “unpermitted dispensary” and is facing 77 years in prison. According the Indiegogo campaign page, Ruggles had “noticed a change in the definition of ‘medical use’ in Hawaii’s medical marijuana law and combined with State and Federal laws, saw an opportunity for patients to help each other.”

“The collective was the first way for sick people to acquire their doctor recommended medicine since the program started 15 years ago. It doesn’t make sense that their trying to throw the only person doing this legally in prison,” said Ruggles, “The legal framework for collectives is already here, they’re legal, it’s going to trial and we’re going to win this.”

Medical marijuana collective supporters can donate here: http://igg.me/at/ruggles.

  • Acidsex

    “According to former nurse and collective volunteer Brittany Neal, “the marijuana itself was not ‘sold’ but rather ‘transferred’ for just compensation at a cost set by each member that included the electricity, fertilizer, and other direct costs that went into creating the marijuana.”

    How the hell this any different than what dealers do? Sorry but I can’t sympathize with them. If the law states they can only possess four ounces and cannot sell– which is EXACTLY what they were doing– then it is the law whether we like it or not. Because if I understand correctly, anything over the four ounces would have to be discarded by the member in order to stay within compliance.

    But Neal’s attempt to hash the words by calling it “transferred for just compensation” is asinine and it makes the cannabis community look like morons. I guess Apple isn’t selling iPhones but rather transferring for just compensation they choose to set that includes machines, electricity, materials, and other direct costs in production.

    Let’s call it what it truly is. Some guy thought he found a loophole and it came back to bite him in the ass and now he wants those who play by the rules to help pay to defend him and keep his ass out of jail. How rich.

    • Kathleen Chippi

      ” and now he wants those who play by the rules” so you have not consumed or redistributed cannabis to anyone since 1937 because you “play by the rules”? “How rich” — how the heck do you think this war comes to an end? Anyone who uses cannabis since 1937 has been breaking the bad law.

      • Jetdoc

        “It is our duty to disobey an unjust law…”
        Thomas Jefferson

  • lovingc

    The madness dosn’t stop at the mainland I see. Drug warriors are notoriously unable to read and comprehen the law.

  • Kathleen Chippi

    The law, the law….the law is based on LIES, PREJUDICE and GREED and has been since 1937…and anyone involved with cannabis has been breaking the law since then. F the law, when the law causes harm.

  • Silverado

    Sounds like he has a shyster lawyer too as the only reason that it costs that much is that’s what he charges. There’s no magic book listing legal fees that accredited lawyers go by as much as it’s whatever the market will bare. And when one’s facing prison time, having to go lawyer shopping would be akin to looking for a dentist for a root canal. Although one piece of advice for lawyer shopping was the same as shopping for a…lady of the evening, for instance. Buy the best one you can afford, he advised because low prices and cut rates are fine for everything except YOUR lawyers and YOUR whores. Think about it…

  • Kenneth Aaron

    Da Islands are sort of a police state. Always has been like that. Especially, the outer islands. Personal experience speaking here. No trouble, just a keen observationalist.

  • jasen joseph hylbert

    The only legitamacy which may he involved in this bust is the perception that the herbal cannabis community has a history of rigging markets, corrupting governments, and obstructing the growth of the superfood industrial hemp. Obviously, most involved in herbal cannabis culture and many involved in the production and distribution have not been a part of the self effacing sullying of the perception of herbal cannabis by many. However, the unconstitutional bans which have been imposed on hemp amidst open markets for herbal cannabis justify this perception from the perspectives of the many and will likely be a primary contributing factor to continued if not increased occurances such as the one mentioned in this post.

    I reiterate – until there are no bans whatsoever on industrial hemp the raids will continue and may in fact actually need to continue. Any bans on hemp may lead to increases in busts. The soil needs hemp growth and the hungry bellies of the majority who does not use herbal cannabis need hemp too.

  • jasen joseph hylbert

    Consider the fact that the entire prohibition of cannabis has been imposed by price gouging market riggers who made all of cannabis prohibited for decades just so they could deceptively sell herbal cannabis at extremly unfair prices while banning hemp to further lower their potential overhead.

  • jasen joseph hylbert

    The entire prohibition of cannabis has been about banning hemp for the short term benefits of the price gougingest of the price gouging herbal cannabis sellers who sought to keep their overhead extra low so as to price gouge to the maximum. Make no mistake – while there are any bans on hemp at all, be they related to percentage of thc or regional based, the prohibition of cannabis is still very much alive.

    • jasen joseph hylbert

      To effectively throw cannabis prohibition down the well, we must not give the prohibitionists our funds – we must grab them by their money and botcott any of them who are keeping any restrictions whatsoever in place. I would not trust the products of prohibitionists if I were you…

      Self provision is in fact the most effective way to throw prohibition down the well.