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Dec-28-2012 00:40printcomments

We Cannot Let Bad Apples Spoil the Bunch!

Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing.

One bad apple
Image: fxb.worth1000.com

(SACRAMENTO, CA) - In my last article I spoke about unity in our community. Then I was asked, what about people who take from our community, and cause damage?

This question brought me to those who are feeding off the Prop. 215 patients and cannabis legalization community. Often times these bad apples begin to spoil the bunch when the need for help is at the forefront. This poignant question reminded me that their are those who are using the community as a feeding trough. These individuals are using it for their own personal gain, but at what cost to the community as a whole?

After speaking with a number of local MMJ organization members, current criminal defendants, and initiative drive sponsors (all very proactive in the community), a list of rotten fruit began to pile up. Some of the names were those of people I had met and advocated with personally.

This fact perplexed me and so i began research to separate the truth from the fiction. The fact findings of these persons was even more astounding as each individual circumstance of unethical behavior increased in magnitude. The first was a former law enforcement officer, Nate Bradley, who I had advocated with since 2009. I had met him via his website, lawmenpro.org/Lawmenpro/LPP_MAIN.html

After a brief email correspondence, I invited him to attend a moratorium at the Butte County Supervisors Chambers. We met in person that day and began advocating for patients' rights in the North State on multiple occasions.

I ran into complications with the law recently and its acceptance of collectives rights to distribute medicine to members. After paying Mr. Bradley a sum of money most lawyers ask to receive as a retainer, I was confident that he would help.

My confidence was broken soon after, when he performed 3 witness interviews, two court appearances, and began asking for more funds.

Courtesy: cinewsnow.com

This past week another story stemming from a situation earlier this year came to light, with two Sacramento MMJ community activists, Shelby Lucero and Gus Sands.

These two upstanding individuals experienced Sacramento County Sheriff deputies raiding their home, and the First Amendment Collective on the 4th of July 2012.

The media outlet KCRA Sacramento Channel 3, claimed over 80 pounds of cannabis wers taken, but court documents revealed a little over a pound was confiscated.

Shelby claims she too payed Nate Bradley a substantial fee, and he never accomplished any task other than installing one video camera, and removing her items without permission. To rub salt in her wound after the raid, Nate Bradley's cohorts removed grow equipment and supplies while she was incarcerated.

Mr. Bradley then proceeded to set them up at his home, according to Shelby. After her release, she asked Mr. Nate Bradley to return the items he took, and she says he has not done so to date. This is very disturbing, as his motto is "Lawmen Protecting Patients" - not the opposite.

He recently wrote a book and is still feeding off the patients in our area, claiming he is here to protect them. When I thought it couldn't get any worse, another claim of thievery came to me this week via email. Costa Mesa's Robert Martinez who ran the Newport Mesa Patients Association, was one of 27 facilities that was shutdown after all out ban and closures by federal officials at the behest of the City Council.

Mr. Martinez was very outspoken and critical while the host of the “Cannabis Community” radio show that aired Sunday mornings on local station KOCI 101.5 FM which also was subsequently taken off the air following the raids.

Learn more from THC Finder Marijuana Blog

Mr. Martinez was was duped into hiring an unsavory character named Weston Brent Mickey, who claimed he would secure a voter initiative drive to overturn the city's ban. After producing over sixteen thousand dollars as payment to Weston Brent Mickey, the signatures were never gathered by Weston, After a month passed nothing was gathered. Robert went to the street himself to gather votes; the initiative drive barely fell short, by only 108 votes.

Robert asked me, "Don't you think our group could have easily achieved those lost votes with the money we payed Weston Brent Mickey"?

Since 2008, Robert Martinez an army veteran, has been tirelessly advocating for Prop. 215 patients in the Los Angeles area.

These horrific encounters with supposed helpers of the cause are unforgivable.

I was astonished at what little recourse is available to the victims.

In Sacramento County court, Shelby Lucero and Gus Sands are fighting for their lives against felony charges. They have no money for civil remedies to bring justice out of their encounter with Nate Bradley, the former Law Enforcement Officer turned petty thief.

From this writer's perspective, my hope is that we remove bad apples like those listed here in this article. Before you hire or pay any individual I would encourage you to ask for a reference of their positive accomplishments.

We must not let these types of bad fruits spoil our entire harvest!

Be Well, Eric L. Salerno


Eric Salerno is a Salem-News.com writer from Butte County, California. His background is with State and Federal Agencies assisting in recovery efforts in disaster stricken states.

In 2008 he began advocating for medical marijuana in his home state. This journey began after the supervisors in his district of Butte County enacted a moratorium on legal Prop. 215 patients rights to access and grow their own medicine. He was one of only 10 people to show up at the meeting and voice his concerns with their actions.

That year a coalition of mores than 300 residents was formed and a Vote NO on measure A campaign began. These residents of Butte County united to stop the interference of the county.

This campaign was successful with a large voter drive initiative and media campaign securing 55% of the voters saying NO on measure A.

Today Eric works endlessly from Southern California to Northern California advising and implementing political tactics, to ensure every Californian has the right to access legal safe medicine under the law.

You can write to Eric at this address: Ericsalerno@sbcglobal.net



Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Eric Salerno January 15, 2013 10:10 am (Pacific time)

Hi Shirley, We can't let bad apples spoil the bunch ;)

Shirley Reaves January 10, 2013 2:24 pm (Pacific time)

.Eric Salerno has stated that 2 members of the mmj community have failed to support the community because they either fell short or failed to succed at a busniess issue or may have taken some advantage...I do not know Nate Bradley personally .. I do know Weston Brent Mickey. I personally know nothing of the infighting on the voter regisstration and inititives .. But when it came to stepping up and helping this mmj prop 215 welfair case Weston has been kind, helpful and generous. It really sucks for those of use who may like both Eric Salerno and Weston Brent Mickey...they are both good guys

John Walker January 4, 2013 4:41 am (Pacific time)

Eric Salerno is a...

Editor: No he isn't.  Eric is a deep thinking activist and writer whose heart is in the right place.  This information is backed up, so good luck.  People are smarter than your erased comment.  Sure a couple of people are mad for his exposing the fact that some guys are trying to take advantage of the 420 community.  We have thick skin and are not surprised that Eric's expose  is receiving a backlash, I hope you don't expect us to be shocked.  We're the media, we're the watchdogs, we piss people off constantly and we're accustomed to dealing with the repercussions, in the end we are honest as the record shows.  

AB December 28, 2012 5:26 am (Pacific time)

Thanks for sharing

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