GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A federal prosecutor is preaching poetic justice for the leader of a multi-county marijuana grow operation that flagrantly violated Michigan’s medical marijuana law.
In court documents, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Courtade reflected on a song made popular by The Animals in the 1960s.
“The opening stanzas from the iconic ‘House of the Rising Sun’ are:
‘There is a house in New Orleans,
They call the Rising Sun,
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy. …'”
“In many ways, Shawn Taylor was the Rising Sun for his friends and relatives,” Courtade wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.
“Taylor has long been associated with the illegal distribution of controlled substances, including marijuana.”
When Michigan voters approved medical marijuana in 2008, Taylor “decided that it was only a matter of time before his illegal avocation could become his vocation. Taylor is quite a salesman, and his vision to grow and sell ‘medical marijuana’ developed into quite a soapbox pitch. Taylor envisioned a world where he could grow all the marijuana he wanted and then legally sell it to anybody with a Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) card,” Courtade wrote.
Taylor, the “undisputed leader” of the Medical Marijuana Team, or MMT, is to be sentenced Tuesday, April 14, by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker.
Related: DEA uses search warrants, wire taps and sources in arrests of 37 in medical marijuana ‘ruse’
Related:Michigan’s medical marijuana law no defense in multi-county marijuana case, attorney says
Taylor and 36 others were indicted.
The government said he and a “group of similarly minded men and women” would grow marijuana and supply it to Taylor. He controlled distribution and took a cut of profits. They grew marijuana in dozens of places.
While Taylor and others said they acted legally under the state’s medical marijuana law, the government said they violated state and federal laws. Taylor recruited marijuana users as customers and paid their licensing fees to make them medical marijuana caregivers so MMT could grow more marijuana plants, Courtade said.
MMT grew marijuana at residences Kent, Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties and Traverse City.
Courtade contended that most MMT customers were recreational users. He said Taylor’s previous drug convictions precluded him from providing marijuana to patients.
He wasn’t “motivated by a heartfelt desire to alleviate the pain and suffering of others … . Taylor …Read More
'Tragic consequences' of using Michigan medical marijuana law as cover for … – MLive.com