Pubdate: Thu, 14 Jul 2011
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2011 Gold Country Media
Author: Bridget Jones
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Security Is Important for Cannabis Patients, Physician Says

A recent robbery that involved a medical marijuana theft has some 
speaking out about concerns and asking local residents to use 
security to keep themselves and their medical cannabis supply safe.

At presstime Wednesday Robin Oscar Tipton, 20, of Sacramento, David 
Eugene Thomas, 23, of Sacramento, and Duane Edward Patton II, 23, of 
Elk Grove, were still in custody in Placer County Jail after being 
arrested July 7 for allegedly bursting into an Auburn couple's home 
and stealing medical marijuana, cash and other property, according to 
Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff's Office.

According to Erwin, the victims knew one of the men.

Erwin said the men allegedly brandished a small silver handgun 
throughout the robbery and told the couple to stay in a confined area 
of the home.

The three men were caught and arrested by Sheriff's deputies in 
Roseville less than 30 minutes after the robbery, Erwin said.

According to Dave Tellman, the senior Placer County deputy district 
attorney working on the case, each man is charged with one felony 
count of robbery and one felony count of false imprisonment.

Tipton and Thomas are ineligible for bail on parole holds and Patton 
is in custody with a $100,000 bail.

According to Placer County Superior Court records, the three are 
scheduled for arraignments at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Auburn's Placer 
County Jail courtroom.

Dr. Sean Devlin is a physician at the Highland Springs Wellness 
Center in Grass Valley.

Devlin said the center sometimes give patients recommendations to 
take medical marijuana.

Devlin said he had heard of similar incidents and called the alleged 
robbery "atrocious."

Many of the center's patients are blue-collar workers who are just 
trying to get by in today's economy and need the medical marijuana 
for a variety of ailments, so someone stealing it causes a big 
problem, Devlin said.

"We care for some critically ill patients here who use it on a daily 
basis, and if they don't have it, they get set way back," he said.

Devlin said when patients are growing or using medical marijuana, 
security should be a major concern, and that incidents like the 
robbery can happen when too many people know about the cannabis.

"The real issue behind security is I think too many people are out 
either letting people know or making it obvious they have medical 
cannabis growing on their property, or the location is obvious to the 
community," Devlin said.

Devlin said to provide more security, patients should try not to talk 
about their medical marijuana, just like they wouldn't openly talk 
about other medications they are taking.

"It makes as much sense as doing that," Devlin said. "Most people 
keep that private and maybe just share it with intimate partners or 

Another part of security can be where plants are grown, as growing 
them outdoors is a lot more obvious than indoors. However, those who 
are recommended to grow medical cannabis at home are supposed to post 
a statement stating that, Devlin said.

"Ultimately if someone suspects you have medical marijuana or grow 
marijuana, you are going to be a target unfortunately," he said.

Several ways to provide security include having a dog, a caretaker or 
cameras on the property, Devlin said.

Bob Henry, manager of Golden State Patient Care Collective in Colfax, 
which sells medical marijuana, said he feels badly for the victims of 
the alleged robbery.

"Our take on it is we are compassionate to people, and the people we 
see come in here, they come in here for advice aE& and we give it to 
them," Henry said. "And we know how hard it is for them to be able to 
achieve growing their own medical marijuana, and for someone to come 
take it is cold hearted."

Henry said he thinks once medical cannabis is stolen, it can cause 
problems in the community.

"I think it's a real shame that element comes into it, because people 
who usually steal it, I wouldn't think they are going to do anything 
good with it," Henry said. "That's what makes it looks bad for the 
whole picture."

Devlin said people robbing others of medical marijuana is a 
continuing problem and he hopes law enforcement takes the incidents 
as seriously as other crimes.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom