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Ironic hypocrisy bedevils Kearn County Sheriff

Assisting in raids that sent medical cannabis providers to federal court Kearn County sheriff calls his son’s marijuana arrest a ‘Bakersfield Police Department case’. staff
July 30, 3007

Bakersfield, CA – During the last year Kearn County sheriff deputies assisted the DEA in raiding medical cannabis providers in Bakersfield on three raids of medical cannabis dispensaries. Twice in May and in the latest raid on July 17 Kearn county sheriff officers working with the DEA served 3 search warrants and 5 arrest warrants on the owners of Nature’s Medicinal Coop in Bakersfield. This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of California in Fresno, CA.

With the passage of 215 some 11 years ago medical cannabis coops operate openly under the protection prop 215 affords them. California police officers take oaths and are sworn to uphold the laws of the state of California and to uphold the constitution of the state of California. The constitution of the state of California steadfastly states that in a conflict between state and federal law California peace officers must follow state law. Of course federal law still prohibits the sale of all marijuana.

Often there are cases where California peace officers are cross deputized to assist with the DEA in raids on dispensaries within California where voters mandated it’s legal to operate. Apparently taking an oath to uphold the constitution of California is not enough and our state legislature should mandate all peace officers to uphold state law and not assist the DEA in the war on drugs that makes medical cannabis provider takedowns like shooting fish in a barrel. After all, they operate openly.

Within a week of assisting the DEA in medical cannabis raids Kearn County sheriff Donny Youngblood suffered an ironic twist of fate. His son Aaron Youngblood was arrested and faces 3 felony charges: possession of marijuana for sale, transportation of a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit a crime. Of course he’s disappointed in his son’s arrest and his comments were "He's an adult male and this is a Bakersfield Police Department case," he said. "I wouldn't want to be seen as interfering."

So while the sheriff’s son Aaron Youngblood faces state courts for his felony marijuana charges the medical cannabis providers sheriff Youngblood arrested the week before face federal charges for providing cannabis to Cancer, epilepsy, aids and MS patients.

Aaron Youngblood is no stranger to the state court system however. Court records show Aaron Youngblood pleaded no contest to misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol in 2003 and Jan. 8 of this year was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct -- drunk. Sheriff Youngblood's other son Ruston Youngblood pleaded no contest to
misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol this Jan. 12, according to court records, and in a separate incident was charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol Jan. 17.

It’s time our state legislature answered the call and pass laws prohibiting the peace officers of California from assisting in the arrest of medical cannabis providers. Don’t assist them in raids, traffic control, perimeter defense and the like. And while their at it they should pass laws that make it illegal for medical cannabis providers to be tried in federal courts.


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