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Weed Country: Another “Non-Reality” Reality Show On Marijuana

cannabis plant


By Keith Mansur, Oregon Cannabis Connection

“Weed Country”, a new reality series about a famous marijuana region in California, premiered Wednesday February 20th on Discovery Channel. In this newest take on the marijuana trade, Discovery Channel takes viewers on a journey through the old “Emerald Triangle” of North West California and its new regions, which stretch clear into Southern Oregon’s southern counties where I reside.

After only one episode, it is obviously a typical “non-reality” reality show similar to both Moonshiners and Cops (fair notice: I hate reality TV). Not only does it put a bad light on medical marijuana, it sensationalizes the cops, the growers, and the distributors into a prime example of bad “reality” television.

A major focus of the first episode was on law enforcement officers in the “Triangle” area, and certain Sheriffs to be exact. Some have launched a crusade against marijuana, medical or otherwise.

They also focus on a couple of growers in Northern California who grow and supply medical marijuana to locations south of the “Triangle” and the many issues they face.

In the episode, only six minutes is spent on patients, and only one of them spoke about the difficulty of access to medical marijuana. The two patients were sincere, but hardly typical. One is a Mom who was treating her epileptic son, and the other is an ex-cop from New York City, now living in California, who’s condition is helped greatly by cannabis.

Utilizing creative editing, the Discovery Channel went to great lengths insuring an exciting first show. They filmed a “staged” assault by the Jackson County Oregon’s SWAT team on an imaginary grow site, supposedly for training purposes. They filmed numerous aerial shots of Oregon grow sites, many of which were clearly legal grows with just 24 plants in some gardens. All the while, officers, including Sheriff Winters of Jackson County Oregon, comment on the size and scale of the grows.

Their editing went overboard when one of the growers starring in the show, Mike Boutin, was headed to Redondo Beach California to deliver a parcel of medicine, a trip the show called a “drug run” down the coast. The narrator explains during the drive that “bandits”, as well as police, are problems for couriers on that highway, and of course a suspicious car begins to follow Boutin. He pulls over to the side of the road to let the car pass with a look of concern of his face….The next sound you hear is the sound of a gun cocking, like Boutin is “prepared” for anything! Cut to commercial!

Of course, the car drove right on by.

“That’s Bullshit!”, I screamed out loud. I don’t think he would be carrying a gun, and I’m damn sure he wouldn’t cock it unless there was a serious threat, not just a passing car! That was creative editing, for sure.

As it turns out, I was right, as the producers actually exposed themselves later on in the episode.

When Boutin returned home, and his German Shepard did not meet him at the driveway, he displayed extreme concerned. He had left his wife alone with the dog for two days. Boutin explained that if his dog was not there to greet him upon his return, he would get very suspicious. In fact, he was so suspicious, he went to the wood pile…by the house…and grabbed a loaded handgun…from the wood pile…not his car…where he was supposedly “cocking” a hand gun earlier in the trip!

That makes no sense, at all! He would have brandished the gun already in the truck from the moment he stepped out to look around.



 Mike Winters & All That High Tech Spy Equipment - - - - Zebra One.


Sheriff Mike Winters Loves Prohibition

" The most ridiculous law enforcement statements came from Sheriff Mike Winters, who hates marijuana and thinks it is the downfall of America. He seems to believe he can end the war on drugs, even if he does it alone.

In reference to those who believe in marijuana legalization and controlling it like alcohol, Winters said, “I don’t believe it. I’ve seen a decline, in my opinion, of America from great to good. I don’t want to see it decline.”

“Drugs are going to be the downfall of this country, and I’m going to stop it,” Winters further exclaimed to the camera.

Discovery Channel even edited a segment together with images of Mexican cartel busts, a body on gurney, and images of weapons. It made it appear the medical marijuana grows were creating the problems. In the scene, Sheriff Winters even implied “people” are using MS13 gang members to protect their gardens and that there had been “officer involved” shootings.

MS13 gangs protecting OMMP grows? That’s just ridiculous. I know a lot of medical growers, none have heard of such a thing.

As for “officer involved” shootings, From what I found in the past five years in Jackson County, only two marijuana grows that were raided and had shots fired. In both cases, only the police fired their weapons.

In one instance from August 2010, a man, who was believed to be from a Mexican cartel and growing illegally on BLM land, was shot dead by police after they spotted him near the grow. According to reports, the man never fired a shot at police.

The other was a raid on a legal Oregon medical marijuana garden last fall in Gold Hill, Oregon. The only shot fired was, again, by the police, and fired accidentally. The OCC reported on the raid last Aug/Sep 2011 (see it at www.oregoncannabisconnection.com). During the raid, an officer accidentally discharged his weapon into the ground, leaving the bullet behind as a souvenir for the raid victim.

Arguably the most disturbing comments from Winters came the very same day the episode aired on Discovery Channel. On the afternoon before his big network TV debut, he handed pink slips to 66 employees of the Sheriff’s department, citing both cutbacks from Federal sources and an unforeseen increase in PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) funding as the problems.

Of course, all of this is due to budget cuts and increased PERS funding he saw coming almost nine months ago. Dave Crosley of PERS said to KTVL TV, “We let employees know in October of 2012, what the rates would be beginning July of this year.”

Winters avoids responsibility for the department, and the budget, he has run for 10 years, including their new headquarters which opened last spring in Central Point, Oregon, or their new construction project on the Sheriff’s old office in Downtown Medford. Not to mention, catering to Discovery Channel’s producers and cameramen, flying helicopters around to locate medical grows, and wasting the departments budget filing lawsuits and appeals to stop legal Oregon marijuana patients from possessing a Concealed Handgun License. (See the OCC Aug/Sep 2011 issue for the story at www.oregoncannabisconnection.com)

Instead, he proposed layoffs during a televised press conference. He warned county residents that there will be fewer rural patrols and an increased response time on calls in some areas. Messing with peoples lives inside the sheriff’s department and out seems to make Winters feel powerful. He may call it leadership, but those who understand call it hubris.

With five more episodes to go, and another show filling the time slot in April called “Pot Cops”, we can be assured that the law enforcement will get their message across. How can they miss when Discovery Channel sensationalizes everything and makes them out to be heroes that are fighting a battle, and a “winning” battle according to Sheriff Mike Winters.

Weed Country is terrible, and does not favors for the marijuana industry, especially in Oregon. All those wanting to end marijuana prohibition should let them know at Discovery Channel. Visit the “Weed Country” Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/weedcountrydc) and Discovery Channels website (http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/weed-country) to see the show and to let them know how you feel. "

The Oregon Cannabis Connection is a bi-monthly publication focused on the Oregon cannabis community. For subscription or location information, visit their website.


BLOGGER MANIA AT  $ 500 t0  $ 1,000 PER PouND




    I know for sure that the show is 100% scripted. My co worker is an actor and just finished a lead role in an independent file. His "wife" is the good looking girl in Weed Country. Lol. She's a paid actress/model. Hey, TV is TV and reality TV is just for entertainment purposes only.

    I get what you are saying! Its OBVIOUSLY staged and allot of it for entertainment purposes! HOWEVER it IS DOING a MASSIVE amount for showing the world that their is a HUGE need to decriminalize/legalize this AMAZING plant!!! If it can educate the world...I don't care if its staged!! :) James (New Zealand)

    How is the show Cops a typical NON-reality reality show? Cause I would say it's probably the realist reality show on tv lol.

    Sheriff Mike Weaver should stick to what he knows best....smoking pole.

    Who was that asshat cop that said marijuana is 'worse' than alcohol? Ha ha ha ha haaa...

    Seemed scripted to me, also.
    Plus, just boring, they spend 50% of the show on the set up and 25% re-covering the exact same shots and voice overs they just showed before the commercial break. The remaining 25% is fairly predictable (after so much build up) and not really all that interesting.

    The reason I was skeptical to the show's reality is because the bank closed Mike Boutin's account. What self respecting weed grower trust's the banking system? Everyone knows they're connected with the government, even if he is growing legally why take the chance? Everyone knows the old saying "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." Always have some stashed somewhere else and only a little in the bank just for paying utilities and such.

    Am always in pain until I sinking weed my life is so much better

    cops keep the price up and also the violence. too bad they can't see that.


    Here is another link I just found you should check out.


    If you follow the links you will get:


    which Mike Boutin, along with a lady named Julie Rose hosts every friday night. Haven't found any 'fake' people yet!


    That show made me laugh, prohibition or no prohibition marijuana will always be here. I am 45 years old and starting smoking weed in my twenty's. I have a normal life and have worked and payed taxes all my life as well. I can buy weed any time from numerous dealers and have never had a problem getting it. That said it hasn't ruined my life i have never committed a crime to get weed I have never committed a crime while high on weed and it never was a gate way into hard core drugs for me like they say it will do. I would like to see it legalized just so the drug cartels and terrorist who grow for quantity and not quality would have to find another way to get money. Oh ya I laughed when that cop on the show says " we just saved another kids life" after that raid they did on a grow, c'mon dude why aren't they going after the meth labs or crack dealers.


    Staged...poorly! Putting aside for a second that Shotwell is an actor, I just caught the episode (no, I have no idea why I actually watched it, but that's my problem) where he rolls up on Boutin's farm looking to make a buy. I think it was the final episode of the season. Shotwell appears to have wanted to visit Boutin, cash in hand, ready to make a buy...except there's one problem...BOUTIN AIN'T HARVESTED YET?!?!!? So we see Shotwell getting aggravated that Boutin won't just sell him some pounds so he can be on his way, but ANY PERSON THAT OWNED A DISPENSARY (and many, many people that do not) would know that those plants were at least 7+ days away from being ready for sale. So, from just a pure "storytelling" point of view this whole interaction does not make sense. What's really sad is that if they were going to stage the whole thing anyways they could have hired all actors and said that the characters were created by blending several people's stories and that by staging stuff they could actually give a more accurate representation since the real players would never allow themselves to be filmed.


    Now that you have seen the entire season (one would assume), do you still feel the same? Or did you notice the way that the law enforcement's statements and claims about growers and users were subtly contradicted by showing their actions and behaviors in real life? The show actually ended the season with a montage of summarizations & statements that dispelled the myths about growers and users, and by way of editing, showed the flawed nature of the cops' claims.

    Are these actors; or is this show real? One main guy on this show is an actor. (Does not look good for credibility). The dispensery own er is on 2 shows?.. Matthew Shotwell ... Role of Kevin Cross .... I (Almost) Got Away with It: Season 4, Episode 3. Got to Silence a Witness (20 Oct. 2011). TV Episode - Crime ... Episode credited cast: ... Matthew Shotwell

    Good information. I saw on tv one of the cast of this show acting in another show. On "I almost got away with it." The man that had his dispensary in Valejo, Ca. raided; did an acting job on the other show.? He played a bald thug. This made no sense at all?

    Now that this show is over I agree with JtR that it made law enforcement (particularly Winters & Sgt. Gilley) look like mindless clowns. It was difficult to watch and hard to believe that these crusading world improvers actually believe this crap! I thought the new show Pot Cops (1st episode) was better. It portrayed the cops as being more about doing their job as opposed to being crusaders. Maybe it's all in the editing.


    I thought Pot Cops was a unrealiztic show also. I noticed how often the producers made it seem like every grower was armed and ready to shoot at the police. I dont smoke marajuana but I thought our country was, a democratic society where the people vote on how they want it run. I have learned otherwise in the last year. It seems to me, we have become a dictatorship run by the DEA and DOJ. This has become so sad. We are being run by a bunch of cops ever trying to increase their budget.


    I think
    these shows are always super hit. The Sannabis show held in February was hit.
    The people learn more advanced methods of growing weed. The nutrients which
    to be used for growing healthier weed .A show will be held on the Spain on April 19 to 21 attend that you
    will come the benefit of the show.



    Mike Bouton, request me please as a friend on FB; Carlo D'Angelo III. I would love to learn a few things from you and perhaps share some knowledge with you as well. You and your wife seem like good people and made a very good call regarding that piece of shit greedy hipster. If you live in the sunshine state, invest in LED's and power them with the sun.

    I forgot what we were talking about ,I should stop smoking weed. bad for you memory.something about the first Marine Expeditionary force in Fallujuh if the sheriff mountain raiders in this made for TV sit com wanted to be run & gun Cowboys go up against a force that will fight rather than over kill for some peaceful Pot growers. I have a tip for Sheriff pot stoppers loose those beer-guts before you confront a real enemy like marines ran into in Fallujuh Iraq not Peaceful Oregon / California pot growers.

    i watch because i enjoy a good comedy !!!

    The entire show appears to be staged. Shotwell is definitely an "actor", if you can call him that. He's a very poor one.


    Shotwell is such an 1d1ot, his great "idea" was just like any other normal business plan- and he acts like it is the most unique idea ever proposed. Then he goes on his big "run" and his plan is to follow a geo in a porsche? Why does he need to bring a big fat guy with him and another car? He could of just made the trip himself instead of being so dramatic about everything.........Shotwell is definitely a putz

    The Police do no service to themselves look like some grand pa wannabees wouldn't last 5 minutes with 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Marine combat team in Battle for Fallujah in Iraq It does not glorify law enforcement and their pointless money burning activities.like Jock the Ripper said. They will look back when the Big Phamacuetical companys are marketing this pot like the oil company's send us to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight their oil wars .keep that oil flowing .


    The Police do no service to themselves look like some grand pa wannabees wouldn't last 5 minutes with 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Marine combat team in Battle for Fallujah in Iraq It does not glorify law enforcement and their pointless money burning activities.like Jock the Ripper said. They will look back when the Big Phamacuetical companys are marketing this pot like the oil company's send us to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight their oil wars .keep that oil flowing .


    These cops are a joke.. to say marijuana is WORSE than alcholo seriously???


    That Matt guy is an Ahole, cocky and nothin but trouble. Ppl like him sends the wrong impression about why these growers are risking everything to help those who need it.

    This show gives me headaches. I am tempted not to watch it, the Law Enforcement people are so ignorant of what marijuana actually does. Have you ever heard of a person hacking another person because he smoked weed? I haven't. But alcohol and the over-the-counter drugs produce horrific results in some people. It must be legalized.


    Its funny, most sceens are of California,

    I'v watched the new show twice and for the most part it's not all that great except for the fact it shows just how totally ignorant the law enforcement community is over marijuana both recreational and medicinal,I have to wonder if they have the remotest idea as to just how stupid they make themselves out to be


    Correction, cops is as real as reality tv gets. Especially with all this bullshit on nowadays. You can't script episodes of cops.


    Tragically, our TV habits can and have shaped our Mass Media and denied "Actual Reality-based Issues" shows/documentaries and instead
    led to "SWEEPS" inspired Fraudulent-based efforts to capture/secure
    eyeballs in the 3 months local TV news sets their next `Ratings Period'
    revenues... for the car, drug co. and ins.ads that fill our eyeballs for the
    next 3 to 5 months... They are February, May and November... and why
    you and I CAN'T get(beg,buy, borrow and/or steal) your local news to do
    ANY REAL REPORTING of ongoing crimes, be they white collar corrupt
    or the less `Interesting' forms of criminality like your local governmental
    agency's lack or interest or effort in those areas... to investigate, arrest
    and prosecute themselves... The result: very low(accurate) information
    voters, leading directly to an illegal alien's enabled protected primrose path to the presidency and the disgrace now of his second term.

    I think the gun was just for effect like you know build up suspense then boom I don't know thats what I think.

    The Discovery Show Blog is totally censored , probably by Homeland Security Gestapo . So Why aren't these police in California going after the real criminals ? Why waste Tax Payer Monies going after citizens growing medicine? And it is in the Constitution that A States Rights Supersede any Federal Laws Applying to that state - so where are the legislators to stop the shutting down of the dispensaries? Well it's all about the money and these individuals are collectable with their large bank accounts , dope (and yes they steal the dope to sell themselves a cop is the biggest hypocrite known to man) jewelry , cars , property , etc.. These cops need to be going after all the MS13 gangsters and the rest of the Mexican Drug Cartel and stop the flooding of Meth and Heroin into this country?

    The real scam is this fact - The Lawyers , Cops , Judges , Local Government Officials , Court Employees , Prisons , etc need to have weed to be illegal as they just make way to much money on it. These Tax Parasites need the revenue especially in these harsh times. They truly don't care about anything else but getting that revenue and that is why they don't go after the real thugs - that's just to hard of a job.

    These cops are a joke and totally clueless. This plant has been proven beyond any doubt to be a healing herb in many different applications. They are just trying to save their jobs as they are true tax parasites. Cops love busts as they get to steal and steal they do - drugs , cash O they love that cash - cars , guns , jewelery , boats , art airplanes - really unbelievable what they get away with . Go after the real thugs - the MS13 gangsters and their Meth and Smack that is flooding all across America

    LOL - Cops today don't give 2 sh*ts about any laws - they do want they want, when they want- Police brutality is completely off the charts and only going to get worse, hopefully the recent Supreme Court Decision will keep these thugs more in line. In my area they chased 2 unarmed men - riddled their car with over 140 bullet hits , shot both innocent men dead, yeah they enforce the laws anyway they see fit

    That is a perfect response!

    These cops are so f'n clueless acting like they are saving the world - this plant is proven beyond any doubt to be medicine - these tax parasites are just trying to save their jobs with revenue - cops love to bust as they get to steal and steal they do


    what is this nonsense i don't even..

    snap on a bluetooth headset and you may notice a change in your personal life


    If you hate reality tv, then why do you blog about it? Unless you think we like to hear you whine?

    Show is awful. Everything staged. Pure garbage.

    And poster "Jason Wilson" clearly has some connection to the show.






















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"Constitutional Sheriffs" Eradication of Pot, Should ALL be investigated




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Search & Destroy Pot. Going Up Up Up and Away



Search-and-destroy missions for illegal pot falter in Oregon



A counterdrug pilot working with Oregon State Police lifts the nose of her National Guard Bell OH-58 Kiowa helicopter to climb over a northeastern Oregon ridgeline while searching for illegal pot gardens



 A pile of trash includes plastic irrigation pipe and 54-pound bags labeled "Powerline 16-16-16 fertilizer" at an illegal pot grow in Wallowa County. Police removed or destroyed 91,000 marijuana plants, ranging from seedlings to 10 inches tall, in the June 2011 raid.





Oregon is poised to become the first in a group of key battleground marijuana states to exit a nationwide program designed to discover and destroy black-market pot plantations. 

The move follows Oregon's first year of recreational marijuana sales and a thriving industry with legal marijuana farms stretching from the coast to the Idaho border.

Money for the eradication effort in Oregon has dropped by nearly three-quarters in the last year to $200,000, by far the largest percentage cut in the country, financial data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration shows.

That's on top of steady cuts over the past three fiscal years that add up to an overall 80 percent decline.

To the north, another well-established hot spot for illegal pot grows is taking a different approach. Washington has generally kept its Drug Enforcement Administration money intact since legalizing recreational marijuana. It's dropped only about 30 percent over three years, down to $760,000 this year.

But with no one strongly advocating for it, the program in Oregon appears headed for the chopping block.

"If you look at a graph and see how steeply the budget trends down, I'd imagine it's very possible we won't get funding for this next year," said State Police Capt. Bill Fugate, whose agency has been one of the program's main financial beneficiaries. 

Police and sheriff's offices typically use the money on equipment, training and helicopters based on allocations largely established through state requests.

The Oregon Department of Justice passed oversight of the program – making the funding requests and doling out money to local agencies – to the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association this year.

That association sees it as an unwanted burden.

"They must've caught me at a weak moment when they asked us to take it over," said retired Curry County Sheriff John Bishop, executive director of the nonprofit group that provides administrative help to sheriffs. "We're not even going to run it next year. ... I don't know who will yet. No one's figured that out."

Discussions begin in January over who will take it on, he said. He wouldn't speculate on who's in the mix.

It's possible the state could step in with money, but there's no question that the focus has shifted.

"The problem is the way the program utilizes funds from DEA, it doesn't have a good match with our regulatory scheme," said Jeffrey Rhoades, senior adviser on marijuana policy to Gov. Kate Brown and a longtime prosecutor.

"That's not to say we've beaten the black market," Rhoades said. "The main point is, in this new legal market, we need to adjust our thinking in how we conduct these kind of operations."


Oregon entered an exclusive club a decade ago: part of the Drug Enforcement Administration's "M7" – seven states identified as primary marijuana cultivators. The others were California, Washington, Hawaii, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. The federal government has spent roughly $18 million annually – mostly in the M7 states -- to focus on eradication.

And it appeared to return dividends – Oregon authorities pulled up or burned an average of 100,000 plants a year when the money started coming in.

But in 2012, discoveries plummeted to 33,000 plants a year, and that level has held steady since then. Washington experienced a similar nose-dive.

Neither state remains in the M7.

The Northwest states are now closer to Colorado, where major marijuana grows historically haven't been as common and which stopped receiving federal marijuana eradication funds in 2015.

Using state money, Colorado found about 27,000 plants last year, not far from its annual average over the past five years.

Fugate imagines this will play out in Oregon as well.

"Let's say DEA money goes away completely," he said. "We're not going to get out of the business. There are four stages to this game: detection, investigation, eradication, and apprehension (of growers). Funding cuts will mostly take away the detection aspect. And we will be spending more state money than we have in the past."

The Governor's Office agrees the program will continue, federal money or not.

Rhoades said Mexican drug cartels are still a concern and search-and-destroy operations are important for fostering a "good business climate" for marijuana shops in Oregon, mainly by suppressing the black market.

"But that's only one tool in the tool belt," he said. "We're going to start being smarter about this."


The Drug Enforcement Administration program itself has come under fire from national marijuana reform advocates.

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., recently led a push in the House to drastically reduce the program's budget. While it didn't make it into the final budget, he said success is inevitable, given the shifting national sentiment. As California and other states legalize recreational marijuana use this year, "they should follow Oregon's example," Lieu said.

"This is one of the stupidest programs we have in the federal government," he said. "In a world of limited resources, funds would be far better spent fighting drugs like opioids. I understand why law enforcement would want a continued stream of funding from the DEA, but we can also get law enforcement to accept that funding to go somewhere else."

But the budget cuts in Oregon aren't entirely by choice. While the state requested much less this year than previous years under the program, Bishop noted that it received still less than that — $200,000 in response to a $400,000 request.

"A lot of us speculate that we're being punished, but we don't know," Bishop said. "It's total speculation. We're not hearing anything from the feds."

A spokesman with the Drug Enforcement Administration said the agency declined comment.


The dwindling money in Oregon worries Washington State Patrol Lt. Chris Sweet, who oversees the marijuana eradication program there. Oregon authorities often partner with his agency on marijuana operations.

Mexican drug cartels, Sweet said, could see Oregon's lack of Drug Enforcement Administration money as a business opportunity. He cited a spike in armed guards at grow operations as evidence Mexican gangs are reasserting themselves in the region.

"These international cartels are watching public opinion, watching for which states won't have the resources to fight them," he said.

Bishop, the Oregon sheriffs' group leader, agreed that police are seeing "way more" armed guards at grow operations recently. What's more, a crop of over 6,500 plants connected to Mexican cartels was discovered 35 miles south of Portland in June, near the Willamette River, the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office reported.

But Bishop doesn't subscribe to the theory that Mexican gangs may decide to grow more pot in the state.

"If you have a lawn and it's a beautiful lawn and moss keeps creeping into it, it'll continue to grow," he said. "But why wouldn't they just go indoors and do it legally? It's really easy now. That makes more sense."

Portland-based attorney Bear Wilner-Nugent, who focuses on marijuana law, called Sweet's concerns unfounded.

"Say what you will about the moral standing of Mexican drug cartels, but they're every bit as likely to be thoughtful and intelligent as other businesspeople," he said. "They're going to slice the pie more thinly, and focus on where they don't have competition with hundreds of legal businesses. Obviously that's meth, heroin, and cocaine in Oregon."

 -- Drew Atkins

Special to The Oregonian/OregonLive


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified the agency that oversaw the eradication program in Oregon








 Where Mike Winters put money, manpower, interest...in pot pulls...



12 years worth.