Jeff Gilmore, who has grown marijuana from his Tenino garage for 35 years, was robbed Sunday in what he calls retaliation for his speaking out in support of the legalization of recreational marijuana. Gilmore was interviewed by KING 5, but does not regret coming forward.
"I don't think I'd be much of a man if I ever regretted speaking out over something I believe in," Gilmore said Monday.
Gilmore has three marijuana grow operations, one in his garage. He said the thieves broke in through his house and made their way into the farm. Plants were either taken, damaged or cut altogether. Gilmore estimated losing up to $20,000.
"There's enough here to pay my power bill," he explained, "But not enough to feed my family."
The reasoning behind Gilmore's theory is that few people know about his operation. He said just ten people have actually set foot inside. Furthermore, the suspects did not take all the plants, leading Gilmore to believe a message was being sent.
"I'm not going to stop," Gilmore stated. "The Liquor Control Board needs to make it so I can get crop insurance."
On that point, Washington's Liquor Control Board is now taking public comment on how to license and secure recreational pot use since the passage of I-502 in November.
"Certainly if you're growing marijuana now, you're running the risk," according to board spokesperson Brian Smith, "If you're going to have a state-sanctioned facility, there has to be some minimums there."
Security is a key component of whatever is instituted. In addition to not being qualified for crop insurance, marijuana growers find it extremely difficult to deal with banks and security system companies, according to Smith.
"We're building a system that doesn't exist anywhere in the world," he continued, "Where you have producers, providers, retailers all involved in a comprehensive system."
Gilmore hopes part of the system involves punishing those who steal from farmers.
"I'm sad, I'm angry," said Gilmore, "And I want my pound of flesh."