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Bail reduced for three arrested in medical marijuana dispensary raids

 Posted: 5:40 PM May 30, 2013

Three people arrested in a series of medical marijuana dispensary raids last week successfully appealed their steep bail amounts this afternoon before a Jackson County Circuit Court judge.

Judge Tim Gerking reduced the $550,000 bail for Lori Duckworth, 50, and Leland Duckworth, 49, to $5,000 and $10,000 respectively. The bail for David James Bond, 44, was reduced from $200,000 to $5,000.

Supporters of the three gasped when Jackson County Circuit Judge Tim Barnack refused to lower the $550,000 bail holding the Duckworths in jail and bumped Bond's bail to $550,000 from $200,000 at a Tuesday hearing.

The Duckworths are charged with 11 counts each of conspiracy to deliver marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school and 11 counts each of manufacturing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

Bond is charged with four counts of conspiracy to deliver marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school and four counts of manufacturing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

Gerking cited the trio's strong community ties, limited or nonexistent criminal history and myriad medical issues as reasons for the bond reduction.

"I understand Judge Barnack's concerns and why he set bail so high," Gerking said, adding he was "reasonably satisfied" the defendants were not a flight risk or a danger to the public.

Lori Duckworth, a vocal proponent of medical marijuana, is the executive director of the Southern Oregon chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

The SONORML office on West Sixth Street in Medford was one of four medical cannabis dispensaries raided by police on May 23.

Officers with numerous agencies descended on Puffin' Stuff on Crater Lake Avenue in Medford, the Green Compass on East McAndrews Road in Medford and The Compass on Second Avenue in Gold Hill.

Law enforcement alleges the dispensaries were storefronts for illegal marijuana sales.

The defendants on Tuesday each pleaded not guilty to all charges. They are scheduled for a pre-trial appearance on June 17.

— Sanne Specht

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