NYPD 75th Precinct: Release The Levys’ Legal Hemp Shipment
This petition made change with 2,075 supporters!
UPDATE 12/11/19: The charges have been dropped, but the NYPD is refusing to release the Levys' hemp shipment.
We are closing the petition, and the Levys are now moving to sue the NYPD.
If you wish to support them further, the Levys have kicked off a campaign to cover legal and business expenses at Oren’s GoFundMe page.
On the morning of Saturday, November 2nd, Oren Levy, owner of Green Angel Oil, and his brother (who has asked for his name to be removed from this petition) were waiting for a shipment of legal hemp from Vermont when they got a call from the NYPD that the hemp had arrived, been searched, verified, and that they could come down to receive the shipment.
But when Oren's brother showed up at the NYPD’s 75th District, he was arrested by officers who claimed that the 106 pounds of hemp had tested positive for THC - even though it had been cleared by the Williston, Vermont Police, and came with all the appropriate documentation, including third-party lab certification and instructions to contact the Vermont Department of Agriculture if the shipment were seized.
The officers - who had even emailed with Fox Holler Farms, the Vermont growers, who assured them the plants were hemp - locked the young man in a cell for 33 hours. The NYPD posted on social media that they had achieved a major drug bust and confiscated “marijuana that was destined for our city streets.”
To be clear, the hemp was destined to be made into CBD oil that would serve as medicine for both humans and pets.
Ultimately, the arrested brother was released on his own recognizance, and given a court date of December 2, where it was expected that the charges would be dropped because the Levys had done nothing illegal in shipping their hemp from Vermont to New York.
But, when December 2 arrived, he was told - without additional explanation - that his court date had been moved to May 29. Not only does the delay prolong his legal ordeal, but it means the Levys still don’t have access to the $30,000 of legal hemp that they paid for.
Oren Yaniv, a spokesperson for Brooklyn district attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office, also gave statement to a news reporter saying no levels of THC are legal in NY, and that the hemp will not be returned. This is a turnaround from a statement made on November 19 to NBC4 New York that the charges would likely be dropped at the next hearing on Dec. 2.
Why This Is Important
Hemp is a federally legal plant. It contains less than .3% THC, which is the chemical which gets you high. It does contain CBD, and other cannabinoids which have great medicinal value (as does THC, but one step at a time…).
The Levys were operating within the law. The NYPD 75th Precinct entirely overstepped its bounds, misrepresented what happened, has not taken responsibility for its errors or apologized to the Levys, and has not returned the hemp - destroying a fully legal business, and putting a man's life completely on hold.
What You Can Do
Please sign this petition and demand that the NYPD drop the charges, apologize for the arrest, and release the hemp!
You can also contribute to Oren’s GoFundMe campaign to help them pay legal and business expenses associated with this unjust situation.
Today: Monica Donovan is counting on you
Monica Donovan needs your help with “New York Police Department: NYPD 75th Precinct: Release The Levys’ Legal Hemp Shipment”. Join Monica Donovan and 2,074 supporters today.