Pubdate: Thu, 24 Sep 2015
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2015 Appeal-Democrat


SANTA ROSA (TNS)  The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office raided a 
medical marijuana growing operation on Indian land just north of 
Ukiah on Tuesday, disrupting a high-profile project that had garnered 
national attention and was hailed by tribal leaders as a new way to 
generate jobs and revenue for cash-strapped tribes.

Deputies eradicated some 400 pot plants from an outdoor location. At 
another location, they began dismantling a "highly sophisticated" 
chemical laboratory where honey oil  a sticky, concentrated pot 
product used to make edible medicine  was being manufactured under 
the auspices of the Pinoleville Pomo Nation, said Sheriff's Capt. 
Greg Van Patten.

More than 100 pounds of trimmed and drying marijuana also was found 
inside the laboratory building, a former car dealership on North State Street.

Tribal representatives who helped launch what is widely believed to 
be the first large-scale, tribal-operated medical pot operation in 
the state had contended they had a right to grow marijuana on the 
tribe's 99-acre rancheria for the benefit of the estimated 250-member tribe.

They decried Tuesday's raids, accompanied by court-issued warrants, 
on what they claim are legal operations.

"I think what they're doing is not right," said Nori Baldridge, the 
tribe's director of economic development. "This is sovereign land, 
and this is a sovereign nation," she said.

"We were shocked," said Mike Canales, president of the tribe's 
business board. He said he's been in frequent contact with Sheriff 
Tom Allman and expected to be notified before there was any kind of raid.

He also contends the sheriff does not have authority over the tribe 
and said he will be asking the county grand jury to investigate the issue.
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