Here’s Why Legalized Marijuana Won’t End the War on Due ProcessPosted by On

Law enforcement investigations take time and cost money. So code enforcers skipped the hassle in 2018 when they came after restaurant owner Blu Graham in Northern California.

Satellite images showed greenhouses on Graham’s property in the Emerald Triangle, a region known for cannabis cultivation, and the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department just assumed he was growing marijuana without paying the county its cut. Based on nothing else, the government declared Graham guilty of cultivating cannabis without a permit—a civil offense in a state with legalized marijuana.

Code enforcers obtained no search warrant and made no site visit. They jumped straight to the penalty phase with an abatement order that gave Graham 10 days to tear down the greenhouses and fill in a nearby rainwater-catchment pond.

Graham asked for a hearing on the charges, but the county ignored the request and started assessing $10,000 fines per day until the tab reached $900,000.

To turn up the pressure even more, the county published its untrue charges in the local newspaper, smearing Graham just weeks after he opened his restaurant.

He was shell-shocked, but he had a strong defense: innocence.

Graham did not have cannabis in his greenhouses, which code enforcers would have seen if they had looked inside. Rather, he was growing vegetables for his restaurant, and the pond is for wildfire control. As a captain and former chief of the Whale Gulch Volunteer Fire Company, he uses part of his land for…

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