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InvisibleDr. SiekadellykM
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[MI] Hash Bash organizer and marijuana champion facing felony
    #534583 - 03/08/11 11:03 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)


Hash Bash organizer and marijuana champion facing felony charges related to raid
March 6, 2011 - Detroit Free Press

A Royal Oak man who organized Ann Arbor's Hash Bash for the last two decades -- and whom many Michiganders consider a leader of efforts to legalize marijuana -- is in legal trouble.

Adam Brook was charged Feb. 22 on eight felony counts, including possessing more than a pound of marijuana -- well over the 2.5 ounces allowed to medical marijuana patients in Michigan, court records show.

Brook said the arrest prompted him to drop his lawsuit last month against Royal Oak, which challenged the city's new medical-marijuana ordinance, he said.

Members of the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team raided Brook's house in January and found a triple-beam scale, marijuana and marijuana candy, a tally sheet of names and prices, two loaded handguns, a loaded shotgun and a bullet-proof vest, Undersheriff Mike McCabe said.

"I truly think this was political," Brook said of the raid. Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard denied that this week.

Brook, 42, pleaded not guilty at District Court in Royal Oak to one count of manufacturing and delivering marijuana, three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and four other firearms charges. He is free on 10% of a $5,000 bond set by District Judge Daniel Sawicki and faces a March 22 preliminary exam, records show.

For the last two decades, Brook organized Ann Arbor's spring Hash Bash, an outdoor gathering of marijuana supporters that drew 5,000 people last year to the University of Michigan's campus, where the crowd openly smoked the drug while police watched from a distance.

Brook said this week he still plans to lead this year's Hash Bash on April 2.

Scion of a family that for 80 years owned the Cadillac Luggage store in downtown Detroit's Penobscot Building, Brook closed the shop in 2006 when his back gave out. He walks with a cane and said he is a state-approved marijuana patient, although Bouchard said police found during the raid that his card had expired.

Because of a prior felony conviction on his record, Brook "can't be anywhere there's guns," Bouchard said.

The conviction was for carrying a concealed weapon in the late 1980s, Brook's lawyer said. Attorney Joe Niskar said he'd defend each charge.

"We believe the amount of marijuana has been grossly overstated," Niskar said.

As for the guns, "there's a question about ownership, and some of these were antiques, exempt from the firearms statutes," Niskar said.

The body armor is a World War II keepsake left by Brook's grandfather, he said.

Finally, even with an expired state patient's card, "I'm still what the law calls a qualified patient" and should be able to possess marijuana, Brook said. "This whole thing has been a nightmare."

Brook will let others carry on the legal fight to overturn Royal Oak's new ordinance, which bans growing medical marijuana, his attorney said.

Others have sued to overturn ordinances not only in Royal Oak but also in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Livonia and Lyon Township.


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