The marijuana industry is still very new. With so many laws still conflicting with each other, one that works in the industry can never really be sure if their freedom is at risk. It’s extremely hard for those working with cannabis to feel safe, seeing as how even when the Feds say that they’ll back off, they still seem to be raiding dispensaries. There were over a dozen marijuana shops that got raided in Colorado recently and the plant is now legal there. Unfortunately for Robert Duncan, a Bay Area dispensary worker, this situation happened to him first hand.
Duncan, who had previously worked in the television industry, received a job offer from some family friends. Since the job was getting down and dirty in the marijuana business, Duncan was reluctant to accept but finally gave in, after consulting with a lawyer about the risks of working for such a new and somewhat still illegal business. Even the lawyer’s advice was that as long as Duncan complied with the state laws, he would be safe from arrest. With that information, Duncan moved to Los Angeles to work in one of the huge marijuana grow houses, spending up to 80 hours a week tending the gardens and preparing medicine for patient consumption.
Since his experience with marijuana was limited, Duncan had his doubts about the benefits of working in the cannabis business. As most people, he assumed that he would encounter a good amount of people who didn’t really need to smoke but said that they did. But when he met with patients dealing with cancer and other serious illnesses, his attitude began to change. But while Duncan’s attitude improved, a storm was brewing. On October 2011, the grow house was raided even though the operation was following every state law presented by California officials. The Feds didn’t even give Duncan a reason as to why Matthew Davies (Owner of the grow house), the co-owner, and Duncan were all indicted.
Duncan recently surrendered to authorities and will serve a two year sentence for his helping hand in making sick people feel and get better. There are plenty of others that this has happened to as well. People are being wrongly imprisoned for just trying to help their fellow human beings. Hopefully, as the laws get more and more relaxed, the Feds will lay off of marijuana users, both recreational and medicinal. After all, it is just a plant.