May 23, 2018 — AP news is reporting that two of the former “stars” of Discovery Channels 2013 reality show Weed Country were indicted on marijuana related charges in Jackson Tennessee. Mike and Tawni Boutin, growers on the short lived reality show, were arrested after their “tour bus” was searched by police. AP reports:
“The U.S. attorney’s office in Jackson says Michael and Tawni Boutin, of Medford, Oregon, face charges including manufacturing and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute.
Narcotics agents said they found 20 pounds of marijuana and 3 pounds of hash oil in a house and the Boutins’ tour bus in Jackson.”
Coming only days after an announcement by the U.S. Attorney for Oregon announced the plans of law enforcement to target unlicensed cannabis grows in the state, the arrest and indictment of two former reality T.V. stars is simply helping make Billy Williams’ argument … that diversion and overproduction from Oregon is a big problem.
I was never a fan of the show “Weed Country” which appeared on Discovery Channel in 2013. It featured Jackson County Oregon’s Sheriff Mike Winters, who was a real jackass when it came to cannabis. In fact, I wrote a long article on the show where I gave it a thumbs down because it was not an accurate depiction of the realities I was familiar with.
The show featured Northern California growers, which included Mike and Tawni Boutin. A number of supposedly reckless incidents were portrayed on the show, including a feud between the Boutins and a neighbor. After the show ended, the Boutins tried to capitalize on their newly found “fame”as best they could, and even resulted in Mike Boutin apparently running for Congress in 2013, when he released this strange promotional video:
But, once we legalized cannabis in November 2014, ahead of California, the Boutins promptly moved to Southern Oregon.
The Boutins ran into obstacles they didn’t envision when they moved up to the Selma area near the Illinois River. Specifically, they ran into the Josephine County Commissioners cannabis bigotry which has been on full display for months as the commissioners filed suit over land use decisions and continually blocked commercial cannabis activities on Rural Residential lands. Mike Boutin offered testimony to the commission as far back as January, 2016 when he told commissioners where he referenced Measure 91’s original language noting, “the legalization of recreational marijuana was not to affect medical marijuana.”
At a later meeting, when laws got closer to implementation, he got verbally abusive with disparaging remarks towards the commissioners which only helped to further entrench the county officials. Other cannabis proponents showed up at later meetings and explained that Boutin was not representative of most cannabis growers in the county.
In 2016 in Boutin also started a company called “Weed Country Adventures” where they offered cannabis friendly rafting trips in Southern Oregon. It was reported on KTVL.com:
“Owner Mike Boutin started WCA this summer because he believes there is a niche of people who would enjoy rafting and smoking marijuana.
Oregon laws prohibits the recreational use of marijuana in public, limiting use only to private property. For Boutin, he plans to make stops along the tour for clients to step out of the raft in order to smoke. The law also notes that any person cannot operate a boat while under the influence of marijuana – meaning that any passengers who decide to partake in smoking cannot help paddle the raft through the rapids.”
Apparently the Boutins had since relocated to Medford, Oregon where they currently reside. As with his outburst at the Josephine County Commissioners, their indictment is not representative of others in the state who are trying to work within the legal framework that was established, before the Boutins moved here.
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