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Braintree Cops Defy Court Order to Return Money and Pot to Medical Marijuana Patient

By David Bloch | 08/27/2014
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The Braintree Police Department has spurned repeated requests by a Falmouth man to return $1,200 and 1.5 ounces of marijuana wrongfully seized during an arrest last April at the South Shore Plaza.

Officers arrested 31-year-old Derick Eaton and confiscated his property despite being told he had a medical marijuana certificate. By August, Quincy District Court had dismissed the charges of marijuana possession and distribution, and ordered the police to give back the money and medical marijuana. 

The Braintree Police Department acted on the advise of the Norfolk Country District Attorney, who reportedly might file a motion to overturn the court’s order. According to Braintree Deputy Police Chief Wayne Foster:

“The district attorney’s office said there was no way we were going to give drugs back to a ‘drug dealer’. And police took the money as proceeds from ‘drug sales’.”

Law enforcement officials in Massachusetts are apparently having trouble adjusting to new state marijuana policies, preferring to continue the lucrative War on Drugs. Boston attorney Valeria Romano told the Patriot Ledger that, “the police are resisting the legalization of [marijuana] for medical purposes.”

Also according to the Ledger, Barnstable County District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said, “This is a very difficult scenario statewide, and it’s what results when laws are foisted on us through the ballot,” O’Keefe said.

In recent polls, a majority of Mass. residents support the complete legalization of marijuana, an issue which could be on the 2016 ballot. 

Image Courtesy of Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times