Jeff Gilmore described himself as a “professional marijuana cultivator” when he was interviewed by King 5 News in October 2012. Though he says he does not regret speaking out about something his believes in, King 5 now reports that the exposure from that interview may have helped prompt an unidentified person or people to rob and vandalize one of his three grow operations this month.
Gilmore began growing, selling, and even giving away marijuana 35 years ago after he was in college. Despite one drug felony conviction, he’s continued on and kept a low profile. That is, until he suffered what he estimates to be up to a $20,000 loss from the intruders inside the garage of his Tenino home. Gilmore’s plants were stolen, damaged, or cut.
His theory for the robbery was that the main purpose was to send a message of retaliation. He says few knew about the operation in his garage and only ten people have been physically inside.
Now, after the passing of Initiative 502, Gilmore is calling for Washington’s Liquor Control Board to allow citizens who grow marijuana in a state-sanctioned facility to be able to obtain crop insurance.
Spokesperson for Washington’s Liquor Control Board, Brian Smith, commented, “Certainly if you’re growing marijuana now, you’re running the risk. If you’re going to have a state-sanctioned facility, there has to be some minimums there.”
Gilmore hopes to see continued definition of a system being set in place with this new law, including punishment for this kind of theft. In the meantime, he’s frustrated and sad as he vows that this will not stop him. Currently, Gilmore says he has enough money to pay his power bill, but not to feed his family.
My prediction is that we’ll see more and more stories in the media about situations tied to or sprung from the changes Initiative 502 brings.