For Immediate Release:
September 1st 2004
On Wednesday, August 18, 2004, Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), with the assistance of the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wolf Team of the California National Guard, conducted a historical 130 million dollar raid, according to DEA formula, on Mr. Eddy Lepp’s medicinal garden, ministry, and home known as Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens (EMG). Lepp is well known for his contribution as an activist, with international recognition and numerous “activist of the year” and “lifetime achievement” awards for his heroism, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from this years, “Jack Herer” Awards, named after the author of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” Lepp was growing 32,524 Medicinal Cannabis plants on his 25 acres of land in Upper Lake California, for the patients his ministry is helping. Lepp and his ministry, has and will, continue to fight for patients’ rights to safe and affordable medicine. All of the patients the ministry is helping have valid medical conditions and legal recommendations from their physicians to use Medicinal Cannabis. Most of these patients are very sick and dying people, who rely on the cannabis to ease their pain, increase their appetites, or any of the numerous reasons this plant can help them to cope with their conditions.
In the raid, Government Officials also took personal computers, souvenirs, and other artifacts that had nothing to do with EMG, and had no real significance to be considered evidence. They also confiscated a total of 2,300 dollars from members of EMG, never admitting it into evidence. Also, missing from the home was all of Lepp’s files and paper work for his civil case against the DEA for an illegal raid they conducted two years prior. “We have heard numerous reports that the DEA has pressured all local and national news not to cover the story,” Lepp said, “and we have reason to believe that the DEA shut down our email accounts for a period of time affecting our ability to conduct our business properly.”
Much of the DEA’s conduct in the raid left reason to question the warrants authenticity. Even the warrant itself left reason to raise a brow. It was a search warrant, with only the four addresses and the judges’ signature on it. They canceled EMG’s t-shirt, postcard, soil and fertilizer orders, as well as reservations and appointments for upcoming personal and professional events. This conduct seemed not only unprofessional, but childish and petty.
Dr. Milan Hopkins, one of the few doctors in the state of California with the courage to issue a valid and legal recommendation for patients who need Medicinal Cannabis, was forced not to conduct business for a little over a week. The office doors stayed open and his staff continued to show up for work, however Dr. Hopkins was unable to treat his patients because, according to information received by the local community who support the Medicinal Cannabis Movement, the DEA was going to raid his practice for issuing valid, legal recommendations to the patients the ministry is trying to help. “If the federal government has a problem with California law they should take the state of California to court and leave us the F215 alone!” Lepp said, regarding the treatment by the federal government of patients, doctors, and caregivers protected under California state law and proposition 215. Probably the most disturbing information received by EMG and their sources was, while moving the load off the premises the government officials involved spilled hundreds of pounds of cannabis all over highway 20’s roadside. Then when people walked up and down the road collecting the cannabis not one single officer even attempted to stop them. In a very recent report received by EMG it was established that some of the citizens gathering up the cannabis were small children and the officers continued to just drive on by. As these children continued to gather the cannabis there seemed to be little or no concern from the officers that these children had access to the cannabis.
Lepp’s hearing for this raid is on October 4th 2004, at the San Francisco federal court building. Volunteers for EMG will be holding a peaceful protest at the entrance on the corner of Turk and Larkin and urge anyone willing to come and join them in there struggle for their human rights. In an unprecedented move, the judge has allowed Lepp to travel within the continental United States. Widely due to this Lepp would also like to extend an invitation to any member of the press to visit EMG or allow him to come to them for an interview.
There is a definite necessity to get this story out. It can not be expressed enough how desperately this movement needs the press, especially with the November elections breathing down their necks. Please understand that there are many sick and dying patients that are being helped by this plant, people like Lepp and Dr. Hopkins. Do not let this story die out. Lepp is an open book with what he does out in Upper Lake California. He has never hid it from anyone. Not the government, the press, and certainty not the citizens and patients of this country who he and the ministry are fighting for. Just come and visit Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens and you will understand the love and healing that this plant is capable of.
Lepp would like to encourage all to contact him and Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens And Multi-Denominational Ministry Of Cannabis And Rastafari at 707-275-8879, this email account, or on line at www.eddysmedicinalgardens.com.
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