Pubdate: Fri, 31 May 2013
Source: Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)
Copyright: 2013 The Mail Tribune
Note: Only prints LTEs from within it's circulation area, 200 word count limit
Author: Sanne Specht


Judge reduces amounts to $5,000 for Lori Duckworth and David Bond, 
$10,000 for Leland Duckworth

Three people arrested in a series of medical marijuana dispensary 
raids last week successfully appealed their steep bail amounts 
Thursday afternoon before a Jackson County Circuit Court judge.

Judge Tim Gerking reduced the $550,000 bail holding on Lori 
Duckworth, 50, and Leland Duckworth, 49, to $5,000 and $10,000 
respectively. The bail for David James Bond, 44, was reduced to $5,000.

The Duckworths are charged with 11 counts each of conspiracy to 
deliver marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, and 11 counts each 
of manufacturing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school. Bond is 
charged with four counts of conspiracy to deliver marijuana within 
1,000 feet of a school, and four counts of manufacturing marijuana 
within 1,000 feet of a school.

In an earlier hearing on Tuesday, supporters of the three gasped when 
Circuit Judge Tim Barnack refused to lower the $550,000 bail holding 
the Duckworths in jail and increased bumped Bond's bail to $550,000 
from $200,000.

Gerking cited the trio's strong community ties, limited or 
nonexistent criminal history and myriad medical issues as reasons for 
the bail reduction. "I understand Judge Barnack's concerns and why he 
set bail so high," Gerking said, adding he was "reasonably satisfied" 
the defendants were not a flight risk or a danger to the public.

Gerking ordered the defendants not to have any contact with each 
other and submit to drug testing at the court's request.

Lori Duckworth, a vocal proponent of medical marijuana, is the 
executive director of the Southern Oregon chapter of the National 
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Keith Mansur said after the hearing that he and Lori Duckworth have 
co-hosted a radio show titled "Rogue Cannabis" for the past year. 
Mansur said he was glad Barnack was not handling Thursday's bail 
reduction hearing.

"Judge Gerking was reasonable and even-handed," Mansur said. "But 
it's still a travesty."

Mansur said medical marijuana supporters would continue with a 
planned protest at the courthouse later that afternoon.

"We will have fundraisers and more protests," he said.

The defendants on Tuesday each pleaded not guilty to all charges. 
They are scheduled for a pre-trial appearance on June 17.

Lawyers for the defendants argued that the couple were not getting 
treatment in jail for various medical ailments.

Leland Berger, representing Leland Duckworth, made the case for the 
Duckworths, saying that they have deep roots in the community and 
should not be viewed as a flight risk.

The defendants should be released on their own recognizance and 
believed they were operating within Oregon's medical marijuana laws, 
Berger said.

"They are not alone in thinking their conduct was protected," Berger 
said, adding the private school referenced in the charges was created 
after the dispensaries were in operation.

The SONORML office on West Sixth Street in Medford was one of four 
medical cannabis dispensaries raided by police on May 23.

Officers with numerous agencies descended on Puffin' Stuff on Crater 
Lake Avenue in Medford, the Green Compass on East McAndrews Road in 
Medford and The Compass on Second Avenue in Gold Hill.

Police allege the dispensaries were storefronts for illegal marijuana sales.

Officers said they seized nearly 12 pounds of marijuana, 94 plants, 
$2,752 in cash, documents, computers and edible marijuana products 
from SONORML. Police said they believe the money is from illegal drug sales.

At Puffin' Stuff, officers say they collected about a pound of 
marijuana, 41 grams of hashish, edible marijuana products, tinctures, 
seeds and other assorted items. Fifty dollars in cash also was 
seized. Similar items were seized from the other dispensaries and the 
residences. In all, about $4,000 in cash was seized in the raids.

After the hearing, Berger said he had concerns about the timing of 
the raids, which caused the defendants to be arrested before a 
four-day weekend (Friday was a furlough day for state court staff). 
Also, some of their charges originally showed up as murder citations 
in the court records, which clearly caused confusion for the court 
and contributed to the extremely high bail amounts, he said.

"That is something we are going to need to address," Berger said.
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