Arizona Cannabis Society Raided by Phoenix Police

Categories: Medical Weed
Image: Jamie Peachey
Bill Hayes, seen here at a cannabis club last June, was detained today after police raided his medical-marijuana collective, Arizona Cannabis Society.

Arizona Cannabis Society, a medical-marijuana caregiver collective featured prominently in a March New Times blog post, was raided today by Phoenix police.

Founder Bill Hayes is still being detained, cops say. However, police have no intention of booking anyone into jail today, says Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump. Several people found at the three locations where warrants were served were detained briefly and released.

Crump says the operation was well out-of-bounds of the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. After a month and a half of undercover work, police served search warrants on three locations related to AZCS. At one location, nearly 900 pot plants were found -- yet not a single person involved was a qualified caregiver, Crump says.

Under state law, qualified pot patients can grow up to 12 plants each. Caregivers can grow the same 12 plants for up to five patients each.

In other words, cops are saying the cannabis club had way too many plants.

arizona cannabis society office.jpg
Image: Jamie Peachey
An office at the Arizona Cannabis Society's El Mirage location.

Beyond that, Crump says, evidence turned up that the club was not operating as a non-profit, as Arizona law requires of a medical-marijuana dispensary.

AZCS has two locations, one in El Mirage and another in Phoenix. Crump declined to reveal the third location, or whether it was a residence or commercial building.

In March, Hayes invited New Times out to document the collective's pot-growing operations, believing his business model is legal under the voter-approved 2010 Medical Marijuana Act.

Whether he's right about it being legal remains to be seen.

This is at least the second raid since state Attorney General Tom Horne filed a lawsuit in Superior Court over the club-concept, seeking a court ruling about the clubs' legality. Judge Dean Fink has yet to make a decision in that case.

Club operators say they distribute marijuana only to the 25,500 state-approved patients after verifying their registration cards.

Cops reportedly sent an armored personnel carrier to one of Arizona Cannabis Society's location for the noontime raid.

Hayes, who once spent a year in prison for growing pot, is also an outspoken activist for marijuana. In February, Hayes filed a lawsuit against Arizona in federal court in the hopes of changing part of the 2010 medical-pot law. The law allows qualified patients and caregivers to grow pot -- but not if they live within 25 miles of an open dispensary. Hayes wants to patients to be allowed to grow pot regardless of nearby dispensaries.

A big reason for the existence of the clubs in the first place is that Governor Jan Brewer took it upon herself to flout the wishers of voters by canceling the dispensary portion of the 2010 law.

Brewer's plan to stall the pot law, which she spoke against before its passage, was shot down by the courts. The state Department of Health Services, which oversees the administration of the pot program, will begin taking dispensary applications for a 10-day period starting May 14.

Crump says police intend to submit criminal charges against one or more people connected to the Arizona Cannabis Society.

We'll give updates about this case and others involving clubs when we learn more.

See the slideshow we published last month about the AZCS by clicking here.


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129 comments
Star Buzz
Star Buzz

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Star Buzz

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Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Don't do the Crime if you can't do the Time!

nazmunnaher
nazmunnaher

We have recently begun to accept new members
for 2011-2012 and walk-ins are always welcome.
We have lowered our pricing and now offer a 10% discount
for Veterans & Students
(with valid ID) and HIV & Cancer patients. 
(All our TOP SHELF 1/8’s are capped at $40). 
Since opening our doors in 2009 our
Denver dispensary has stood by
our product and offered a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
http://www.tgtree.com/

Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby

Show's them right! Marijuana is the devil's drug, and these guys are criminals against God!

Cmcmillen1
Cmcmillen1

Ok people this is a blog. Everyone is entitledto an opinion, and they a dime a dozen. But down the hatred and name calling kids. The who issue is a safe, legal way, to get the medicine I need to not have a seizure. I like being a normal adult. If the police and Feds keep coming in and destroying the plant, we are then funding the illegally activity.
So everyone. Chill it will. Take years to undo this whole mess.

Jetdoc
Jetdoc

Ya know Burns.... You're a real MORON!

shyne
shyne

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SSG G. Burns
SSG G. Burns

And their public statement on their Facebook page about it? 

"Excellent Day to be alive! Puff Puff PASS ARIZONA!"

People like this, doing things like this, is the reason that Marijuana is still illegal. Not just for medicinal use but in general.

This further confirms that the police busted the right people.

Fools. Nothing but fools.

Cee9
Cee9

they overcharged for meds, they ran shit illegally for profit charging $400 an oz what do you expect.

guest
guest

if your signed up with
Arizona Cannabis Society, can you terminate your membership and go to another club?

Hock
Hock

This is just further proof that the only real answer is the total decriminalization of MJ.  What a waste of resources ... MJ is the most popular felony committed by citizens. 

nielsonknows
nielsonknows

Hope the lawsuit against the 25 mile rule prevails irregardless of this nonsense.

rider97
rider97

Dispensaries aren't required to be non-profits (as in California), but can't be for profits (as in Colorado). Arizona law requires that dispensaries act as" not for profits".  There is a legal distinction.  If you don't understand the difference, contact Keyt Law and he'll explain it.

shyne
shyne

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Corey Miller
Corey Miller

you cannot get into this if simple paperwork cannot be filed. it's bad for the whole industry where most of us want to be legal and compliant. Getting a Caregiver Card should not be an issue. This is not helping the cause...

shako_
shako_

This has nothing to do with doing time, bill probably wont even see jail time.It's about the fact arizona passed something (prop 203) and they can not follow through with it.But the cops rather waste everyone's time, steal all the plants and wreck the grow sites.When they have hundreds of thousands of real shit they could be doing.

Itsalabotdawords
Itsalabotdawords

 I always liked you guys better when you were arguing with a Ronald Mcdonald cast. at least u chimed ur schitzo-god ideas at the end like a good nutjob.didnt god put pot here.

Edfttt
Edfttt

Guess your to ignorant to understand but the black market is what they want. That's how law enforcement stays in business

nancy
nancy

It's already dragged on for 42 years. STAND UP for a change.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

Here's another reason cops like cannabis prohibition: it gives you an easy end run around the 4th Amendment. Cops just love having something subjective and unprovable, the aroma of pot, as a blanket excuse to search citizens. No pot found? No problem! Since the 4th Amendment was gutted, there isn't much of an exclusionary rule. Want to search someone? Just say you smelled pot. If pot gets legal, you'll have to find another easy way to violate peoples' 4th Amendment rights. So there's another reason pot stays illegal: it's very convenient for cops, even cops who really don't care about pot per se.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

 Gee Burns, It's really hard to take anything you say seriously because you work for the MCSO which resembles an ORGANIZED CRIME FAMILY MORE CLOSELY THAN IT DOES A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.

P.S. Give YPS a kiss for me.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

No, the main reason cannabis is still illegal is that too many people make money from prohibition. I'm not just talking about drug cartels, either. Cops, attorneys, ancillary businesses such as private prisons and the urine testing industry. Lots of people are making serious bank from the persecution of cannabis people.

Ceo Azcs
Ceo Azcs

 yes you can, please contact us via telephone or email and we can facilitate your request
and dont worry, our patients are not the target here.

Doug
Doug

The entire problem here is that your "membership" at AZCS is not legally binding in any way.  If they didn't apply for and then receive a Caregiver card in your name, they were never your Caregiver in any legal sense of the word.  Agreeing to allow someone to apply to be your Designated Caregiver does not magically make them your Designated Caregiver. 

Edfttt
Edfttt

There are plenty of ways to get around that, hire a good CPA familiar with 280e

Ceo Azcs
Ceo Azcs

 get a caregiver card huh Corey? Come on man, you know as well as I do 80% of our patients cant afford a caregiver card and AZCS could have never afforded to submit CG cards for over 1000 patients that came to us and asked for our help. We dont advertise, we dont have a market campaign, we dont solicit patients, they come to us.

So many patients simply wouldnt get a caregiver because they figured the 25 mile rule would kick in and what little money they had to start up would have been for nothing.

We had our facility, we are obviously qualified cultivators, we did what we thought was the best thing we could do to help patients at that time. Its real hard to "bank" the money required to get all those caregiver cards when the public is holding you to a "not-for-profit" promise that you made them. We 0'd our books every month through donations, our programs like "tops for tots" and the most recent can food drive that delivered almost 1 ton of food to west side food bank.
5 cans = $3-5 and we were donating grams of meds in return for their donation to the food bank. One ton of food Corey, figure out how much food/potential $ that is before you say we're "bad for the industry" and then point at another group that has done something similar to stay 0'd ??

I have yet to see one

nancy
nancy

Exactly. Cops sucking off the vine AGAIN.

SSG G. Burns
SSG G. Burns

Well the probelm with your mentality is that not all cops are for prohibition. I for one have been a LEAP member since it started.

I am 100% for the decriminalization of Marijuana.

People like Bill Hayes shit on everything guys like me have done for a decade. Renegades and showboaters like him do nothing for your movement. Never will. 

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

 Seedy, he works for the MCSO and they already have another reason violate people's rights, THEIR SKIN COLOR.

Billy Hayes
Billy Hayes

I can safely say you have never read the contract with the members as it clearly states it is a legal and binding contract in a court of law as well as this portion "I understand I am committing an act of federal resistance under the CSA guidelines for cannabis and as such I may be required to testify in a court of law as to my participation and activity within the collective in the legal defense of the aforementioned collective."

I can call from over 1300 witnesses, how many do you think the State has to call from?
The UC's that signed that paperwork and presented false information (fraud) to do so?

good luck with that

SSG G. Burns
SSG G. Burns

Bill- You're so full of it it's not funny. What you COULD have done was tell patients to find themselves a certified Caregiver, right? But no. You wanted to be a HOG. Well hogs get slaughtered. I work for the Sheriffs dept and heard this morning how things are going to proceed with this.

My best advice to you. Run.

To all the people who signed your paperwork there at your place. Expect to have your licenses for Medical MJ revoked.

"Obviously qualified Cultivators". Really? Then why did you have such a massive bug problem with your plants that you told the officers you had to have 875 clones going just to help cover the losses you were about to incur?

Seriously guy, you're goin down. 

Edfttt
Edfttt

What kind of salary are you receiving for being on the board? 200k, 250k? Do you have a shell game where you own the building through off shore entities so you can charge exorbinant amounts of rent to enrich your pockets further? I've heard other rumors but I will keep them to myself.

Edfttt
Edfttt

I appreciate your honesty and think that you are trying to abide by the spirit of the law. I have a hard time believing you are doing this with the goodness of your heart. Your not risking your freedom with out a profit model in place. I wish you the best but head my words this model is over. If Richard lee who was purportly playing by the books with all his political connections where does that leave you. Hope that year in the prison library served you well. Praying it was only pd in the raid. The new USA has a hard on for this. Not aware of the facts but you have a long expensive fight in front of you.

Edfttt
Edfttt

Problem is you were still exchanging medicine for money. I understand the law says that care givers can me reimbursed for their cost. Why where your costs similar or in excess of black market prices? I have heard you say all the over head you in occur with legal staff, rent etc... I understand you wanting to be transparent but it seems to have backfired. This model is dead. The Cole memerandom spelled it out through the indirectly. People don't understand the political factors behind this failed war. It is all about dollars. Wish you luck but your shoveling shit against the tide. Even though the public may favor mmj for sick patients they don't want to see it in the main stream. These dispensaries operate as legal syndicates. I know of a half a dozen in California that bring in 1 million a month driving their bentleys. Even then they engage in black market sales. Good luck the feds will be shutting this down soon.

nielsonknows
nielsonknows

I hope the patients who contracted their grow privileges to AZCS are not indicted for contributing to an illegal enterprise. This whole business plan was an elephant on a tightrope from go. Patients can get meds legally from other patients with grow privileges this whole shell game was never even necessary, profitable no doubt for all the good that will do now.

shako_
shako_

Sorry but bill is doing more for arizona right now than you probably ever will.Maybe you should read up more on him before you bash him.

SSG G. Burns
SSG G. Burns

Thats not really debatable nor does that matter. Of course it should never have been made illegal. But it was. That's not the fault of every police officer. Thats the fault of your elected officials.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

ALL cops may not be for prohibition, but a helluva lot of them are taking advantage of it. I didn't even get into civil asset forfeiture. Some PDs are so strung out on forfeitures that they'd have to lay off half their officers without it. LEAP, eh? I've met some very nice guys from that outfit. Neill Franklin comes to mind. Bill Hayes should be your friend. In my opinion only when enforcement becomes totally unmanageable and unprofitable will prohibition come to an end. The more people defy these laws openly, the closer we get to the end of Prohibition. Considered discussion only gets us so far. Direct action is required. 

nancy
nancy

Mr. Burns, I admire your stance but marijuana should never have been criminalized in the first place. That is the biggest fallacy and scam pulled on the American public. It is less addictive than caffeine and ranks lower than tea on a list of drugs. In fact, it is way lower on the list than alcohol, which is legal.  42 years of the "war on drugs" has ruined America and turned it into a police state. The whole thing is beyond corrupt and disgusting.

Dig
Dig

 I hope you're right, Bill.  I don't think you deserve to be prosecuted.  So I hope you're right man. 

Edfttt
Edfttt

Read the Cole memorandum. Any one involved in the large scale cultivation and distribution is subject to be prosecuted under the CSA. Election year people wake up

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

You don't work for the Sheriffs Office. No employee makes the mistake of calling it a department.

Guest
Guest

Psst...Arpaio is going down, too. 

Dig
Dig

 There is zero chance of any Patients having their registration ID cards revoked.  Let's be real here. 

blayzed
blayzed

 i bet you pigs are real proud of yourselves huh, getting that dangerous cannabis grower...wonder how many people in phoenix were killed, raped, murdered, or how many cartels brought how many TONS of their cocaine and shit....why is it you fuckin cops cant go after REAL crime...Dont forget this is a PLANT and karma is a muther fucker, your government may get us today, but just remember GOD WILL GET YOU SOMEDAY, THERE IS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL FOR ALL OF YOU

Billy Hayes
Billy Hayes

DEA = Drug Enforcement Administration (US Department of Justice)DEA = Drug Enforcement Agency (various organizations; not to be confused with the US Drug Enforcement Administration)

try watching the raid videos on youtube, read their shirts, then get back to me ;)

I was there for 5 hrs being interrogated by them, trust me, I know that 8 step process very well. I heard more RPM's that day than I have in the last year at the local drag strip.

If you still doubt whether I am capable of defending myself or understand the true nature of what's happening around me, you have me confused with someone else, or you can't read. One of those. Or perhaps you don't understand the Law as well as you think you do;)

Edfttt
Edfttt

Strong words there bill. I don't know who came and got you. It was reported to be the pd but I'm sure the DEA was there during your debriefing/questioning. The feds can v. pick up your case so the CSA is relevant. If they found what was reported you are in the federal guidelines. Your the idiot if you think the FEDS can't pick up the case. I'm guessing that's why you weren't charged because they are trying to figure out how to proceed. Oh by the way idiot there is no state level DEA. The DEA is a federal organization. There is a DEB that functions on the state level. I still wish you the best. Take care.

Ceo Azcs
Ceo Azcs

you say your in it only for profit huh? then get the hell out so people like me can HELP those that need it you scum bag.

your confusing the CSA and a state level DEA raid show your ignorance and you have NO business in the MEDICAL marijuana business. find a state that allows for profit mmj and I will personally use the last of MY money to send your ass there!!

You ARE the exact person i was speaking of when I said "sad to see medicine divorce morality"

YOU are the HARM that violates the first rule of medicine.

Concerned
Concerned

I do know the answers to those questions.  Im just not here to slander his name.  I am also applying for four dispensary certificates.  Let me tell you people its for profit pure and simple.  Anyone who says other wise is a out right lier.  If these guys like Hayes and Sobol would have stayed out of the media spotlight they would have made it easier on themselves. You can't rub the local PD's face in this whether the voters voted on it or not.  It is still illegal under the controlled substances act. Hopefully for my sake and any one else applying for dispensary licenses the feds don't get involved like in California.  Might have to think about it this business carefully if they do.

hektor
hektor

If you knew the true answer to that question you would laugh your ass off. 

Billy Hayes
Billy Hayes

The LAST thing I would do is lawyer up.

This is where a real understanding of the Law comes in to play.

Do you own a copy of Black's Law? Most people don't so hear ya go...
what is the purpose of an attorney in a court of law, if you ask the court...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

attorneys are "officers of the court" and "their duty is to the court and the public, NOT to the client."

It's not me spelling it out for you, it's them.

A Pro Se is the only one with a chance against me in a court room and luckily for me every State barred Arizona attorney is in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and the judges themselves are a direct party to the cause of action against me (as they are paid by the same body & represent the same party in the court room) and will be excused, one by one.

Still think I don't understand how the Law really works?

The State of Arizona could not have picked a worse target for this kind of legal action. Any attempt to use what I was doing to set case precedence in this "new green" state, with this set of laws, will backfire horribly for the State prosecutors.

I hope the State has a great contractual attorney hanging around ready to move.

And for "her" team that is reading this, I took into consideration the fact that she did her extern with Judge Bolton, I filed that case against you when I did for a reason. You and I both know what it is Aubrey. Good Luck.

Billy Hayes
Billy Hayes

some of us are attacking that federal flaw called CSA schedule 1, not just sitting around saying "hey I support your theory but not your fight"

weak sauce kid

Billy Hayes
Billy Hayes


"Problem is you were still exchanging medicine for money." here is your oops and the accounting records will show that. The money was used to further the operations of the collective, per the agreement every member signs.

If I was profiting then I wouldn't be driving a dying 2002 Ford Ranger with 140,000 miles on it.
I wouldn't be renting a house.
I wouldn't have to worry about whether my daughter qualified for kids care arizona.

Those of you pretending you know anything about me or AZCS or doing nothing but that, pretending. Try sitting down and talking to me, come into one of our offices and talk to someone.

Itsalabotdawords
Itsalabotdawords

well said my friend! there are many in your corner. dont ever let their swazi miss information routines deter from the rightious path you have set off upon.

Albert
Albert

Supremacy is to apply only to enumerated (listed) powers. As long as it is not a prohibited action, and any power that is not given to any part of the Federal Government... As it states in the 10th Amendment... that power belongs to the states.. or respectively to the PEOPLE..Remember the 10th Amendment came after the Articles of the Constitution, and also overrides, and supersedes any language written before. They don't even have to write in an amendment that something in part or whole has been CHANGED. The new language just overrides anything that may conflict, or give new meaning or power. 

Edfttt
Edfttt

I have commented on the prison industrial complex many times. Unfortunately you weren't given the patent or authorized to conduct this type of research. You seem genuine but this stupid law has got out of hand. Farmers markets where product is being passed around in the open? Craigslist adds advertising sales? This whole thing has turned into a mess. Hopefully they don't charge you bill but you are under the microscope. Take a break. If they do charge you lawyer up. I can pass on the names of some high profile former federal prosecutors

Ceo Azcs
Ceo Azcs

 against my better judgement allow me to retort kind sir.

I make Phoenix Tears. It takes one pound to make a 30 day supply with our current equipment. ONE POUND!

We (read carefully here) GIVE IT AWAY to those that need it and are willing to take part in an actual study involving the meds.

Watch the CBS5 video and pause when they show the tincture bottles, you'll see "research test vial" and a batch number on them all.

You'll see I offer non-edible and edible root balms that contain only trace amounts of thc yet offer our patients outstanding relief for pain through its trans-dermal analgesic properties.

The Phoenix Tears medication offers relief and hope to patients "western medicine" has failed or given up on. Cancer, HIV, Crohn's, PTSD, you name it. Any inflammatory reaction in the body can be tamed with Tears.
The US GOV issued the Department of Health & Human Services (aka themselves) a patent on cannabis for neuro-protectant and anti-inflamatory MEDICAL BENEFITS!<=

patent # 6630507

Assignee:

The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services
(Washington,
DC)

"Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants

Abstract

Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to
NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids
useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation
associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and
autoimmune diseases."

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi...

The CSA scheduling of cannabis is a lie and with the passing of every new mmj state program the lie is reverberated louder and louder.

AZCS did "no harm" and that is the FIRST rule of medicine, one apparently long forgotten.

It's also happens to be a necessary element for corpus delciti to be established, "injury, loss, or harm".

oh the irony!!

"For children with cancer and aids, a cure exists and you probably could've been saved, it's sad to see medicine divorce morality, corporate home-wreckers pimpin up the salary."

You or anyone else sitting there wondering why we do what we do still, just read one of the AZCS bracelets, they all say it right there for ya,

FUCK CANCER!

and every company (Mercke, pfizer, etc) that allows people to be harmed by their "medicines" every day while making billions off our friends and families continued suffering. Offering us "treatments" when "cures" are available. 5000 year old natural NON TOXIC cures and treatments are pushed out of the market by a hundred years of racism and greed ?? Now and days its not even racism, it's "stay in your place-ism".

We have taken the souls from our hearts and placed them in the hands of the private corporations who see a profit margin over the lives of individuals. Then we let these same corporations sponsor politicians and governments designed to control the corporations themselves.

They've corrupted our government with their monetary virus, and they tricked most of you into believing you can share in their "dream" and thus justify any atrocities in the "name of justice" just like the one that occurred at 8376 N el mirage rd on wed at noon.

1000+ patients without medicine because a few politicians decided to stall the dispensary program and continue to allow patients to suffer and die. We stepped up and acted in what we believe to be in accordance with the AMMA language itself, not just the spirit of the AMMA and offered those patients relief where there was none.

make no mistake this "drug war" started over money, has been funded by the same money ever since and continues to be fought with the same money as it always has been.

Take a hard long look at who is involved in the private prison complex industry here in Arizona and then look at their relationships to AZ politicians that continuously side step the voters will regarding medical marijuana in this State.

Follow the money folks, you can watch em flushing our dreams down the toilet right next to our health.

Edfttt
Edfttt

Legal by the law. This is a states rights vs federal law. Read the supremacy clause. Bayer pharmaceuticals and the rest of the drug companies aren't in violation of the CSA. You can try and justify his actions all you want but if the info out there is true, and they found nine hundred plants he has some issues at hand. If he was altruistic as he claimed there was no reason to have that many other than profit. Don't let these media hounds fool you with their helping the public rhetoric. Its about the money. Hopefully the USA for AZ doesn't get involved.

U.s. Hemp
U.s. Hemp

 legal by whose standards???  do not foget where the money comes from and goes like elections

Edfttt
Edfttt

When big pharma is in violation of the CSA please inform me. The united states attornies in California are making example and so is the temporary one here in AZ. Good luck with your big pharma anology. They have more lobbying dollars than you can count. Keep dreaming though

Edfttt
Edfttt

Only problem is big pharma is legal. I believe in the complete decriminalization of all drugs. It won't be worth anything and the black market will cease to exist. This is a not a realistic reality with the prison industrial complex. Sorry guys just a war you can't afford to fight or expect to win. Appreciate your enthusiasm but you are severely delusional to think institutions will operate as quasi syndicates and be left alone do to state law. Have news for you its illegal federally. All these guys in the public eye are fools.

Cmcmillen1
Cmcmillen1

With your stride every pharmacy should ebe shut down for filling orders of bad medicine, birth control and anyone Vermont sued De to injury and death. Oh Walt the FDA they where fine. drink another beer and drive or hit your kid that ok with man made evil.

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