MEDFORD, Ore. — Dozens of people rallied in front of city hall to support the people who were arrested on Thursday.
The Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team served eight search warrants Wednesday morning at SoNorml, Puffin’ Stuff, The Green Compass in both Medford and Gold Hill. They also served search warrants on three other residences. Police say these locations were involved in the manufacture and delivery of marijuana.
Four people were taken in custody. Lori and Leeland Duckworth, employees at SoNorml, were two of the individuals who were arrested.
On Friday, Lori called her daughter from the Jackson County jail. She said she could hear and see the supporters from the jail windows.
“Thank you for your love and your help and your support. I feel like I have a strong community behind me,” said Duckworth.
The Duckworth’s daughter is standing up for their proclaimed innocence alongside the cannabis community.
“The police enforcement needs to really evaluate state laws before making false accusations,” said Brandi Rodriguez.
But Medford police say the Duckworths did break state laws. SoNorml is one of the places law enforcement served search warrants from an investigation of suspected marijuana sales. Some cannabis community members believe the arrests were made for other reasons.
“I really think this has been a political move by Sheriff Winters and Chief Tim George. They’ve been long opponents of any expansion or progressive changes in the Medical Marijuana Act,” said Kevin Mansur, Oregon Cannabis Connection.
Medford police say the arrests have never been about the legalization of marijuana or the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.
“You can’t sell a controlled substance. You can’t sell marijuana and that is the criminal charge and that’s what we’re dealing with, and that’s what these people will be held accountable for,” said Medford Police Chief, Tim George.
Duckworth’s daughter is raising her own voice saying she can’t disagree more. She plans to fight for her parents.
“Just like my parents fight for the rights of patients in this community,” explained Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says her family has hired several attorneys. She plans to organize more rally’s and fundraisers to pay for her parent’s bail.