by Mary Otte

Any day that starts with fire arms and ends with Jack Herer picking you up from jail, joint in hand, has to be an interesting one…

Good Morning

02/16/005, 7:00am, I listened to the dogs going wild and collected myself before getting out of bed. I had been living at Eddy Lepp's Medicinal Gardens for two months and knew that this was not our usual wake up. When Linda Senti called for me to get dressed, my suspicions were confirmed. I walked down stairs and sat on the floor as directed by the armed DEA and NTF Officers. Next door, documentary film maker and director of Hello Jazz Productions, Jason Dunlap, was being forced
to dress in the background while giddy DEA officers snapped personal photos of Dunlap's hand lettered sign reading "Go Away DEA."

Freedom of the Press

Once they had us all seated in the same room, Dunlap and I requested to be able to record the happenings. A tough-guy officer refused us and then asked our names. When we inquired if we were under arrest, we were informed that if we told them our names they would tell us our status. Confused by this double talk we did not answer and were arrested and removed by 7:30am. No other media was on site for the remainder of the raid.

Third Time’s the…

This is Lepp’s third raid by the DEA. He and Daniel Barnes were arrested and are now being detained on charges of cultivation and selling. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, on January 19 a DEA Task Force Officer working undercover purchased one pound of high THC marijuana for $2,500.00 from Lepp with Barnes acting as the go-between. The TFO was wearing a wire and his report states that there was no discussion of the marijuana being for medical purposes.

4.8 Million Dollars of Unrooted Clones, Seized!

During Wednesday’s raid, agents allegedly seized approximately 4,700 marijuana plants, 1,600 unrooted clones, ten pounds of processed marijuana, and 16 pounds of partially processed marijuana. Because of the assumption that each clone would eventually bear at least one pound of marijuana, the estimated value of an unrooted clone was $3,000.00. The average price of a clone at a marijuana dispensary is between five and ten dollars.

What’s Next

If Lepp and Barnes are convicted, they face a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison. Lepp has yet to be convicted for last year’s raid, when over 32,500 outdoor plants were massacred alongside the California Highway 20. Because of Lepp’s openness and pride in his legal right to grow medical marijuana, DEA officers informed him last time that he had embarrassed them, so what did he expect? This time there was very little discussion; Dunlap and I were compliant while “resisting arrest,” there were no fire arms that did not belong to the officers, and no person from Eddy’s gardens made any trouble.

That’s a Wrap

Dunlap and I were bailed out of jail by Lepp’s close friend and neighbor, Jack Herer. Dunlap returned to find that much of his camera equipment had been thrown into the middle of the floor and around 300 hours worth of footage for his documentary on Eddy Lepp had been taken as evidence. The house was torn apart; one section of the ceiling is now collapsed as an officer fell through trying to search a crawl space. The officer in question was not identified to us.

Lepp and Barnes will appear in court on Wednesday, February 23, for arraignment. For more information, check out: