Curtis Shimmin and his nephew, Austin Mullins, were pulled over in separate traffic stops on Thursday, August 30, 2012. Although neither vehicle was searched nor was marijuana present in either vehicle, according to Shimmin, both Shimmin and Mullins were arrested on multiple charges related to marijuana. The charges were apparently related to Shimmin’s thrivingmedical marijuana club, Club Kannabosm, which opened in May of 2011 at 401 West 11th Avenue in Eugene Oregon.
Later that evening, while both Shimmin and Mullins remained in custody, five search warrants were executed on properties including Shimmin’s residence and the medical marijuana club. Shimmin believes that Oregon State Police Officer David Glass was in charge of the investigation and searches were executed by Lane County Interagency Narcotics Team (INET). Officer Glass could not be reached for comment at this time.
Neither Shimmin nor Mullins has been formally arraigned, although that could still occur at a later time, and after approximately 27 hours behind bars (and after late-night execution of all the search warrants), they were both released.
In addition to impounding both vehicles in the traffic stops and all medical marijuana found in the searches, three patient gardens were “harvested” by police during the searches, according to Shimmin, and all electronics (including computers, video surveillance equipment and phones) were also seized. Personal bank accounts, as well as funds related to Club Kannabosm and funds related to a beverage company also owned by Shimmin, were seized as well. Shimmin states that officers even took an ATM machine that was leased for use in the medical marijuana club.
Shimmin says he does not grow marijuana at all; the patient gardens seized were lawful gardens grown by legal OMMP patients at the properties searched and that they were in compliance with Oregon’s medical marijuana law. He also stated that some items seized were not documented by police. Shimmin is searching for an attorney to aide him with his defense, and while he hopes to find a pro bono attorney, he will also be setting up a legal defense fund Tuesday when the banks reopen.
Although Shimmin did receive a letter from U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton just weeks after opening – the same letter sent to many medical marijuana resource centers throughout Oregon last summer – he says he has not had any further notice or action by any police agency since then. In fact, Shimmin states, Club Kannabosm met with the Chief of Police in Eugene only two months after the May 2011 opening of the medical marijuana club, and he says that police expressed no concerns with Club Kannabosm or its operations.
And, although Club Kannabosm has been openly operating in Eugene for more than a year-and-a-half, there has been no public outcry* from the local community. Shimmin claims that the medical marijuana club has actually been “praised” by the local community and that when they applied for a booth at the 30th Annual Eugene Celebration, they were accepted (although, due to a shortage of staff to man the booth on those dates, they were unable to attend).
Shimmin plans to reopen Club Kannabosm on Tuesday, September 4 – although without any available medical marijuana for patients – and he hopes that the community will assist with a letter writing campaign “demanding that the medicine be returned.” He hopes to open frequently over the next few weeks to ensure patients are informed about what has occurred and how Club Kannabosm intends to respond.
Shimmin says Club Kannabosm has served approximately 1,800 patients since opening in May of 2011. The Oregon Health Authority reports that there were 5,749 medical marijuana patients in Lane County as of July 1, 2012. Shimmin fears many medical marijuana patients that relied on Club Kannabosm will now have to resort to the black market to find their medical marijuana.
*A Google search for ‘Club Kannabosm’, the address where it operates (‘401 W. 11th Ave’) ‘Curtis Shimmin’ or even ‘Kannabosm’ supports his claim that the police and the public were not concerned with the presence of the medical marijuana club; no city council hearings, no newspaper articles, no arrests or other police calls related to disturbances, or any other public notices were found for any of the search terms.