A Journey to the West Coast ~ Traveling by road through several MMJ states
Marvin Reeves seems to be a stand-up guy. He is 38 and holds his medical marijuana license in the state of Colorado. Like many in need of cannabis’s healing touch, Mr. Reeve’s illness has put him into a position financially making it extraordinarily difficult for him to maintain an adequate supply of his medication to treat his disease. Marvin smokes cannabis and uses medicated edibles (medibles) to treat pain associated with years of being a roofer. He has even been certified to grow additional plants for medible production. In late October 2010, Mr. Reeves set off in his truck to work security for a trim operation. It was an opportunity that Mr. Reeves felt he could not pass up. The pay would allow him to medicate for a full year without worry.
Marvin went to Oregon, did the work that was asked of him, and began returning home to Colorado with his pay. He planned his trip carefully. He made sure he traveled through as many states with a medical marijuana program as he could in hopes that if he was caught transporting his years worth of medication back to Colorado, he might have a chance to defend himself. When Marvin reached Elko, Nevada on November 1, 2010, his truck broke down.
He pulled tot the side of the road, and turned on his emergency flashers to alert other drivers that his vehicle was disabled. An officer from the city of Elko, Nevada pulled over, presumably with the intention of assisting Mr. Reeves. A November 3, 2010 article in the Elko Daily Free Press, states:
According to a probable cause statement, a city officer was driving west on Interstate 80 Monday night near the west Elko exit when he saw a vehicle pulled over with the hood up and flashers on. The officer stated he pulled behind the vehicle to offer assistance, but as he approached the pickup he could immediately smell marijuana. About 40 pounds of marijuana tends to produce that strong of a scent.
But Mr. Reeves says that isn’t how it happened. Marvin says the cops were indeed sniffing around his vehicle, but their body language kept indicating that they did not smell anything. Marvin had a few bags of trash in the back of his truck. The officers wanted to see what was inside. Marvin obliged them. When they found trash in the trash bags, they wanted to search the rest of the vehicle. Marvin provided the with his Colorado MMJ license and made no attempt to hide the fact he was carrying a great deal of medication with him. He attempted to tell the officers exactly how much cannabis was in the vehicle. Every time Mr. Reeves tried to detail the full contents of the truck in regards to cannabis, he was cut off mid answer and redirected to another question. In short order, Mr. Reeves found himself in handcuffs and was soon off to the local jail. There he ran into several other inmates booked on marijuana transportation charges. To add insult to injury, much of Mr. Reeves medication came up missing. A full 5 pounds of cannabis buds were missing from the list of charges. Most of the bag’s weighed different amounts (significantly lighter) than when Mr. Reeves weighed them out and placed them in his truck. After 10 days in the local jail, Mr. Reeves was sent on his way, released on his ownrecognisance .
A search of the reporter who covered Mr. Reeves arrest in the Elko Daily Free Press of the shows 4 other marijuana related arrest stories Jared DuBach published the same day as the above story regarding Mr. Reeves. He has covered several other news stories since that deal with cannabis busts on I-80 through the city of Elko Nevada and surrounding areas. I as the author of this article wonder if there is a “speed trap” of sorts for marijuana busts being run in Elko, Nevada. This route on I-80 is well traveled by many who need to go from the medical marijuana states on the west coast to Colorado. It also begs the question, why if we can travel between specific medical marijuana states by plane (see article Medical marijuana & flying: If paperwork checks out, Denver Police and the TSA say, “Get high”http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2010/12/flying_tsa_medical_marijuana.php)
can we not travel by land with our medication. Did Mr Reeves know he was breaking the law by transporting this medication home? He most certainly did. Did he have a choice given his financial circumstances and physical disability? No, I do not believe he did have a choice. He was doing what he needed to do to ensure that he had enough medication for the coming year. He could have made this trip with any other prescription medication and would have only been offered assistance by the law enforcement officers who pulled over that November day.
Marvin Reeves is scheduled to be back in Court in Elko Nevada on March 7, 2011 at 8:30 am. Due to his financial situation, he has been unable to secure a lawyer to defend himself. He has called all the listed cannabis related lawyers on the http://norml.org/index.cfm?wtm_view=legal&Group_ID=4550
page for Nevada. The lawyer he spoke with the most wanted a $5,000 retainer. Mr. Reeves could pay his rent for an entire year with this sum, and only makes $12,000 on average per year. It is his hope that this article may aid him in finding representation as he faces the court system in Elko, Nevada. Anyone wishing to help Mr. Reeves can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org