Oakland County authorities raided the Oak Park headquarters and retail complex of medical marijuana entrepreneur and advocate Rick Ferris, 46, of Berkley but made no arrests “because none of us were breaking the law,” Ferris’ spokesman Rick Thompson said.
“It seemed more like intimidation than anything else,” Thompson said after the raid Wednesday.
About eight sheriff’s deputies presented a search warrant as they burst into the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine office, the adjoining registered nonprofit Big Daddy’s Compassion Club and the Big Daddy’s Hydro shop that sells equipment for indoor plant cultivation, he said.
The raid cemented the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office as hard-liners in the statewide debate about whether medical marijuana patients and establishments have abused the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Oakland deputies raided establishments in Ferndale and Waterford last year, making dozens of arrests. Oakland County authorities could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.
In Wednesday’s raid, officers wore bulletproof vests, and one wore a mask, said attorney Jim Rasor, who represents Big Daddy’s Enterprises. But they took nothing except about $20,000 in cash, gathered from receipts, the offices and wallets of about 10 employees and patients, he said.
The sheriff gets 80% of the money seized, under state drug forfeiture laws that give the rest to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, said Rasor, who also is an elected Royal Oak city commissioner.
“I know, as a public official, that the public sector is running out of money. But it’s just plain wrong to finance your operation on the backs of people who are ill (or) providing a safe alternative to obtaining medical marijuana on the street,” Rasor said.