Local Medical Marijuana Web Sites Get an Involuntary Overhaul

Muraco Kyashna-tocha, in a photo from her own site.
Two leaders of the local medical marijuana movement have had their Web sites commandeered, apparently by someone who had given them technical assistance and later got angry with them.

The URL www.douglashiatt.com now contains no information about Douglas Hiatt, the lawyer who is co-sponsoring a pot legalization initiative. Instead, there's a notice proclaiming that the URL is for sale (The price: $4,000). Hiatt's e-mail account, which used the douglashiatt.com domain, has also been disabled.

Similarly, the Web site of Dale Rogers (www.compassion.ws) currently says nothing about the medical marijuana dispensary he runs called Compassion in Action Patient Network. Now the site links to a competing operation run by Steve Sarich, whose former Kirkland home was the site of a robbery attempt-turned-shootout back in March.

How did this happen?

The answer seems to me lie with a woman that both men say they asked to set up their sites for them: a former employee of Hiatt named Muraco Kyashna-tocha, who now runs her own dispensary called the GreenBuddha Patient Network. Hiatt and Rogers say that instead of registering the site in their names, Kyashna-tocha did so in her own.

Records at Network Solutions don't name the owner of Hiatt's the URL, but do list muraco.org as the server for the site. But the owner of the Compassion in Action URL is listed as Dunshee House, an AIDS support organization that Rogers is affiliated with. Regardless, Detroit technology executive and CNET writer Mark Phillips says all one needs is a valid user name and password to access a Web account and change the content.

Reached by phone, Kyashna-tocha didn't expressly confirm that she tinkered with the sites in question. But, angry and yelling, she insisted that neither Hiatt or Rogers owned the sites.

She did not explain why she might be mad at Hiatt or Rogers. They say they don't entirely understand either, although it seems to have little to do with the sometimes fractious medical marijuana community and more to do with a landlord dispute involving Rogers and someone Kyashna-tocha knows. Hiatt says he offered to intervene.

Sarich says he had nothing to do with the affair, but Rogers apparently holds him partially responsible. Rogers has left profane voice-mails for Sarich, which Sarich promptly forwarded on to Kyashna-tocha, among others. And now, one of the voice-mails immediately starts playing on both tampered sites. "You are a piece of shit," the message says.

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