Commentary – Medical Cannabis Collective Raided

Michael Ruggles, 58, a medical cannabis patient and activist who operates the Alternative Pain Management Pu`uhonua’s Collective out of his home in Fern Acres, was raided and arrested on Thursday September 10, 2015.

Photo via Big Island Video News

Photo via Big Island Video News

Ruggles’ private medical cannabis collective provides a means for members to dispose of excess medical cannabis via transfer to other members who have also been authorized to use medical cannabis. Ruggles’ collective allows members to comply with the quantity restrictions set forth in Hawai`i’s medical marijuana laws and maintain an uninterrupted supply of safe medical cannabis.

The police served a search warrant and seized all the medical cannabis being cultivated on the property registered to multiple patients and caregivers, in addition to several Collective member’s excess medical cannabis in its various forms.

All business and tax records, members’ files containing protected health information, electronic devices, fine jewelry, professional music recording gear, other property resident firearms, his daughter’s college text book, a greeting card containing a personal message and some food were also confiscated from the collective. No property receipt was left by the police for the seized items.

Ruggles is being charged with 30 violations for allegedly operating an unauthorized dispensary even though the Pu’uhonua is operated as a collective. Bail has been set at $84,500.

The numerous collective medical cannabis patients who relied on the collective as a safe means to obtain their doctor approved medicine are now being forced to turn to the black market or go without.

The raid was based upon an undercover officer who presented a false doctor’s written certification that stated he was in the process of obtaining a medical marijuana card under an alias and was allowed to be processed as a member.

Under HRS 329 Medical Use of Marijuana Laws, conditions of use are defined and specify that patients must have a written certification under a physician to use medical cannibis and does not require the patient to register with the Department of Health and Department of Safety as a condition of use. It was under this premise, that the undercover officer was allowed to acquire medical cannabis according to a collective volunteer and member.

Ruggles’ is currently being held at a Hilo police cell block and his first court appearance is on Monday September 14 at 1pm. Friends who recently visited Ruggles say that he is in high spirits and prepared to defend the rights of medical cannabis patients to safely dispose and acquire medicine within the confines of the law.


9 Responses

  1. My attorneys name is Joe Rosenbaum and said he would love to help as he is a civil rights attorney and partner in his firm and has made himself a medical marijuana rights attorney also so please don’t feel.shame we are here for your support and Joe would love to help out and if possible find how these small.minded fools can be at wrong and maybe even get you not just out and free and clear but maybe use there MISTAKES against them and get you reimbursed for all their mistakes as there is no laws for collectives or against them so how can they even possibly think to come at you and invade your good work and to leave patients in such need as it is a travesty and ultimately God will reprimand them at judgement day as I started my collective knowing there was absolutely not one law against the collective or for one, if you are doing things legal you should be in the right and have no issue in turning it against them

    • Aloha Reverend Davis,

      Thank you very much for your support. How can I get a hold of you and/or your lawyer? Please call me at 808-968-0633.

  2. Do you need an attorney as my civil rights lawyer Joe rosenbaum is willing to help.if you need just ask as we will be right by your side if you just say the word

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