Correction Officer Commits Suicide After Police ‘Witch Hunt’ Over Pot ‘Butter’


A pair of Kent County corrections officers’ accused of illegal possession of marijuana butter testified in court last month saying that medical marijuana radically changed their lives for the better. Todd VanDoorne and Mike Frederick both testified on January 21, in a Kent County courtroom during an effort to convince a judge they were complying with state Medical Marijuana Act. The two officers were among four corrections officers charged with a drug offense after police with the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team raided homes in March.

What exactly have they done wrong

During an evidentiary hearing, both men said they properly secured medical marijuana cards from Dr. David Sova before they began getting marijuana butter from producer Timothy Scherzer. VanDoorne has neck pain and underwent surgery in 2010 where vertebrae were fused together. He used prescribed painkillers, but they made him lethargic and angry. “The medical marijuana was excellent, completely different from the narcotics. I could still do things, still carry on daily chores,” he said. Frederick, who has complications from diabetes, told a similar story. He deals with neuropathy which caused muscles in his legs to severely cramp.

The other two officers involved in the case plead guilty; Brian Tennant was sentenced to five years of probation and a $10,000 fine in December on a distribution charge. Another officer, Timothy Bernhardt also pleaded guilty but committed suicide this past November.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark

Todd VanDoorne and Mike Frederick both have medical marijuana cards, but Michigan’s medical marijuana laws explicitly forbid concentrated extracts such as marijuana butter. State law says a marijuana patient can have only 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana without mentioning the edibles. What a dangerous folly coming from the state officials! Playing with people’s lives like this and even after the tragic suicide of one of the cops, they still insist on prosecuting other three. Five years probation and a $10,000 fine for medicating yourself with marijuana?

One would have thought that with the end of marijuana prohibition being so close, the days of law enforcement’s destruction of innocent families would be over, or at least far from what we see has happened in this case. Can you imagine the horror of police squad’s forced entry into their homes? Let us remind you that marijuana first earned recognition as an intoxicant during the 1920s and 1930s. During this time, exaggerated accounts of violent crimes allegedly committed by immigrants intoxicated by marijuana became popularized by tabloid newspapers. Can you imagine this being true? Of course not! If you ever see a person under the influence of marijuana being violent towards someone (or themselves!) let us know immediately. In the meantime, think of millions of American people who have been arrested and whose homes have been destroyed while all they ever wanted was to get high or medicate. And then ask yourself whether it’s reasonable to support the end of marijuana prohibition or not.


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