Cannabis Crusader Turned Grifter Finally Will Answer In Court

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NORML Acting Director will have a chance to clear his name and could get a million dollar judgment against Oregon’s “mastermind” activist, Travis Maurer.

By Keith Mansur

Oregon Cannabis Connection

 

August 29, 2016 –

Finally a long awaited court date has been set for Oregon’s grifter activist, Steven Travis Maurer. Once lauded by Newsweek as the “crusader” for ending cannabis prohibition, the now disgraced Maurer already has judgments decided against him in recent months, ans many are interested to see what happens in court on September 16th in Multnomah county, Oregon.

Randy Quast, who is currently the acting Director of NORML and is temporarily residing in Washington D.C. to fulfill those responsibilities, filed the lawsuit in January claiming Travis Maurer, and his wife, defrauded him out of around $850,000. It was Travis’ wife Leah who was on the bank account and handled the money for the company that was formed between the Maurers and Quast.

Neill Franklin (LEAP), Keith Stoup (NORML), Russ Belville, and Randy Quast. Image: Courtesy Russ Belville
Neill Franklin (LEAP), Keith Stoup (NORML), “Radical” Russ Belville (Portland NORML), and Randy Quast. Image: Courtesy Russ Belville

Quast has long served as the Treasurer of the nations most prominent marijuana legalization organization, National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. He had moved to Portland to enter the legal marijuana industry and became involved with the convincing and smooth talking Travis Maurer.

The Oregon Cannabis Connection reported in February of this year:

“In February of 2015, Maurer got financially involved with Randy Quast, a NORML board member and wealthy trucking executive from Minnesota. According to a lawsuit filed by Quast, he provided Maurer a personal loan exceeding $150,000 and then invested an additional $700,000 in a business venture with Leah and Travis Maurer. They were allegedly supposed to open a medical dispensary and to fund a marijuana grow operation. By January 2016, Quast would file his lawsuit for breach of contract, defamation, negligence, unlawful conversion and fraud. The lawsuit totals a million dollars in damages, including financial damages to the tune of well over $800,000. The suit names both Travis and Leah Maurer as defendants.” – from Crusader, Mastermind, or Grifter? , Oregon Cannabis Connection Feb/Mar 2015 edition.

Kaliko Castille, who was a friend of Quast and served with him on the board of Portland NORML, said, “I’m happy Randy Quast will finally have his case against Travis and Leah Maurer heard.

“Randy has been an un-sung hero of the national cannabis movement, and has given generously to NORML in order to form Minnesota and Portland NORML,” Castille explained to OCC. “It’s infuriating that The Maurer’s took advantage of his kindness so that they could try to enrich themselves.”

In all, a total of 5 lawsuits were filed against Travis and/or Leah Maurer and their companies claiming contractual failure, fraud, libel, and unpaid money in the course of a couple of months in 2015-16. One of the lawsuits was initiated by The Weed Blog owners to have Travis Maurer removed from their company.

That lawsuit, for $50,000, was brought by The Weed Blog’s original developers and owners, Chris Young (aka Johnny Green) and Jeff White (aka Jay Smoker). It was dropped because Maurer made them a buy-out offer which was substantial enough to make it worth their while. It freed them from the burden of Maurer’s apparent criminal behavior, and more recent shenanigans with the website.

“To settle, Travis paid us cash, released all rights to the Johnny Green name, waived any future claims, and most importantly, we didn’t have to sign a gag order so we could finally tell our stories and tell the truth,” Young told OCC. “That last provision is the ultimate reason we agreed.”

Chris Young
Chris Young (aka Johnny Green)(L) with Anthony Johnson at the ICBC in Eugene where he got Tommy Chong’s signature on his bong. Image: Courtesy Chris Young

“We essentially sacrificed The Weed Blog to stand up for Randy and other victims,” Young explained further. “Randy is one of the best dudes I know. All he did was trust someone that is a master manipulator, and sent texts about seeking counseling for alcohol addiction…Travis tried using that moment of weakness to try to perpetuate the worst lie that I’ve ever heard someone hurl at another person and – all business aside – that’s unforgivable.”

Since White and Young left, the site is getting sloppy with their posts and site maintenance, which includes posting unauthorized content, not properly blocking spam comments and visits, and slacking search optimization practices. White was the mastermind behind the sites structure, security and search engine optimization (SEO), while Young handled the content and posting to the site and developed the relationships with other bloggers, activists, and news sites that made their content original, informative, and compelling.

The OCC has been unable to discover who the unsuspecting investor(s) are, but it’s likely they are not real happy with the continued degradation of the once powerhouse website. There is a lot more to a successful website than copying and pasting stories from reputable websites without authorization or proper attribution (like this Washington Post article The Weed Blog posted just after Chris and Jeff left…which has now been taken down). And there’s a lot more to marijuana news than writing fluff pieces on advertisers, or just lifting random events off Facebook.

Know where you get your news, and what the source stands for, whenever possible. Just as I would not get any serious political news or even truly reliable facts from a source like People Magazine, I would no longer trust The Weed Blog for anything more than a few interesting re-posts from other sites, and a few poorly sourced and written stories of their own.

© 2016 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved.

Keith Mansur

Keith Mansur is the founder, publisher, and editor of Oregon Cannabis Connection newspaper. The print publication has been serving Oregon since 2010. He has been a Oregon medical marijuana patient, grower, and caregiver since 2006. Find him on Facebook or email him at occnewspaper420@gmail.com

keith_mansur has 277 posts and counting.See all posts by keith_mansur

22 thoughts on “Cannabis Crusader Turned Grifter Finally Will Answer In Court

  • 08/29/2016 at 12:24 pm
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    Honestly, the OCC is going a bit far with this. This is not journalistic integrity, this is biased reporting.

    I am neutral to all parties until this court proceeding is through. I’m associated in one way or another to all parties.

    Calling maurer, regardless of accusations, disgraced and recommending that people do not read the weed blog is going pretty far in a supposedly neutral publication.

    It seems the OCC wants to throw shit and personal opinions around more than fact.

  • 08/29/2016 at 2:31 pm
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    Since I have unfettered access to the players in this, including exchanges with Maurer, I stand by every word about, and every appropriate label placed on, the Maurers. If you only want pretty little stories about how everyone in the industry is a little darling, you won’t get it here. We report on stories that matter, and this matters, and everyone ignores it. The accusations made by Maurer against Quast, Chris, Jeff, and others are always based on lies and trying to deflect the responsibility for his own actions to others. He has continued to spread defamatory rumors about all of them, and has hoodwinked yet another group of investors by using TWB as a tool. If you want fluff stories about mostly irrelevant things, go visit the new “The Weed Blog” and see what they have been writing since Johnny Green and Jay Smoker left. I will always recommend people avoid trash websites, like the all new and degraded TWB, since they do the industry no favors.

  • 08/29/2016 at 1:53 pm
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    It’s too bad that Quast got involved with Maurer, worse that he gave them $850,000. He’ll probably win the judgment but will likely never see a dime of his money back. The demise of TWB as a resource is also sad. Maybe JG & JS will embark on another venture; hopefully they didn’t sign a non-compete agreement.

  • 08/29/2016 at 2:59 pm
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    I am not biased in this situation but when a person calls a leader in marijuana progress a pedophile with no backing or even action to protect a child, well that person becomes very low in my book and if you think that’s integrity, you might wanna examine the situation again. Steven Travis Maurer did the same thing Cheryl Shuman did to Mickey Martin, make accusations and hope they hurt.

  • 08/29/2016 at 3:41 pm
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    Sometimes neutrality is a cop-out because standing up for what’s right is hard (and can be awkward).

    Read the filings and and understand that all of Randy’s claims are substantiated by proof that will come out in court, then look at the history of each of these players. Only one of the parties has a history of bilking investors, with judgements to prove those allegations. Randy’s case is just one in a pattern of Travis’ deceit.

    http://media.oregonlive.com/marijuana/other/2016/01/15/randyquastsuit.pdf

  • 08/29/2016 at 3:46 pm
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    I was also attacked by Cheryl shuman. I also wrote a blog about her providing damming evidence to back everything I said up.

  • 08/29/2016 at 3:49 pm
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    I would just like to see proof as opposed to the consitent he said she said, I am a journalist and hold my writing to very high standards. Thus the reasons for my comment.

    I’m not saying who is wrong and who is right, what I’m saying is I want proof. You have the burden of proof here Keith l, if you have unfettered access, then email me some proof. Canconsultation@gmail.Com

  • 08/29/2016 at 2:50 pm
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    I stand up for what is right all the time, I’ve shared these articles before, you’ve seen that yourself. I also am willing to call people out when I see fit too. You know this as well kaliko. I just want to see proof as opposed to continuous shit slinging.

  • 08/29/2016 at 4:05 pm
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    Did you read the filings? Have you spoken to Randy or Chris or Jeff? Maybe Anthony Johnson or Sarah Duff as I have? Have you had a conversation with Maurer about this? Have you heard what he said? The only He said is coming from Travis, everything in Randy’s filing will be proven in court.

    If I could show you the check that was forged by Travis for The Weed Blog shares, I would….but it will have to wait till court. If I could show you the emails between Chris and Travis, I would, but they will have to wait until court. If I could show you the lies Travis told me in a private exchange on Facebook, I would, but you will have to wait until Travis releases those emails, as he threatened to do, which would be taking an action he counter sued Chris for…releasing information in a private email (or text).

    If you defend Travis Maurer, you do so being warned and at your own risk…

  • 08/29/2016 at 4:09 pm
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    I’m not defending anyone. I’m simply asking for accurate and unbiased journalism and facts backed by evidence. I uphold those very same expectations when writing on my blog, in skunk mag, cannabis now, dope and ladybud.

  • 08/29/2016 at 4:17 pm
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    The damning evidence is from the mouth of babes, of Johnny Green and Jay Smoker. To question evidence is to question their integrity. They’ve already made multiple public statements about this. Also, Steven Travis Maurer is reposting an article by Johnny Green without the redacted statement Johnny added which is shady in itself.

  • 08/29/2016 at 3:52 pm
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    Unless you are willing to call the founders of the Weed Blog liars and the interim director of NORML a pedophile, the defamation case certainly seems like an open-and-shut case.

    “Upon investigation, Quast was informed by Messrs. Young and White that T. Maurer orally told them that they should not do any business with Quast because Quast was a pedophile and Chimo, aka, a child molester or pedophile. In one email by T. Maurer to Messrs. Young and White, dates September 22, 2015, T. Maurer states: Quast “is a fucked up drunk that likes little kids.””

    http://media.oregonlive.com/marijuana/other/2016/01/15/randyquastsuit.pdf

  • 08/29/2016 at 6:09 pm
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    It’s not that I am questionin their integrity. It’s that I want facts and evidence. I deleted my comment due to it being misinterpreted as a defense to someone. My itention was specifically wanted evidence to back accusations. I have a critical mind.

  • 08/29/2016 at 7:28 pm
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    As a critical mind myself who was part of TheWeedBlog since before The Maurers, I know the guys held Travis’s identity in the strictest of confidence due to nondisclosures and noncompete agreements. It wasn’t until the allegations that the guys drew a line and said enough is enough, if someone called you a pedophile I would hope someone would standup, its then at that moment that I would question the accusations which in the end, says a lot to the quality of person Steven Travis Maurer and his wife are and are bad for marijuana.

  • 09/04/2016 at 2:36 am
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    These people came to our state with a felony. Carpetbagging opportunistic frauds who have brought such greed, bad karma and out-of-state FUNK to our town. It’s just sick. Looking forward to their arraignment. They still act like they are innocent. Why are they in so many political photos? Leaders in cannabis? Egads. These people are just not right in the head and have greatly contributed to the ruin of our medical program. I met with Leah once, told her the her word ‘normalize’ is a colonized western mind word and she just couldn’t GET IT. These people need to be booted back to where they came from and locked up.

  • 09/04/2016 at 2:37 am
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    She can take her Women Grow sorority cult with her!

  • 09/04/2016 at 12:09 pm
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    Thank you for being brutally honest.

  • 09/04/2016 at 5:08 pm
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    I try my best. TY.

  • 11/16/2016 at 10:49 am
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    Any progress in this case? Where is it at?

  • 11/16/2016 at 10:53 am
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    Any update on this situation???

Comments are closed.