After a controversial story was published about a Sapulpa native who had “changed his life” with cannabis oil, many readers have come forth to shed more light on what they say is really happening behind the story of Jeff Waters.
“He is a thief and con man! He steals money from sick people!”—just one of the dozens of emails, comments and messages on Facebook, each one warning the public not to be fooled by Water’s story.
One woman in particular, who was a part of Water’s Facebook Group Treating COPD with Cannabis for several months, says that’s she’s seen the abuse happen firsthand.
“I know at least a dozen people he has scammed,” she says. “I started suspecting him after three months in his group. I saw people complain and get their post deleted.”
“We just want to warn others, ultimately they get to choose. He is scamming the sick and elderly who are desperate to breathe better,” she says.
She told Sapulpa Times earlier this week that Waters has had admins on two different occasions leave his group because they believed he was scamming people, and others are evidently catching on; she told Sapulpa Times “I have seen complaints about him in three other groups on Facebook.”
State Question 788 for legalizing medical marijuana is a hot-issue topic for this year’s election. From both sides of the issue come passionate responses to the question and all the moral and legal quandaries therein.
When we published the story of Jeff Waters—a former Sapulpa man who claims that cannabis oil was the key to his recovery of COPD—we believed we were telling the story of one of the possible positive outcomes of legalizing medical marijuana. It was an attempt to show the other side, following the story we had released about the group that had formed to oppose the question.
While the story that Waters told may very well be true, it’s not his story that others are primarily taking issue with, it’s that he uses this story to gain sympathy and hopefully donations, or requests from others to send them cannabis oil. It’s here where the waters really get muddy, so to speak.
Several accounts of former or prospecting customers have come to light alleging that Waters not only doesn’t send the oil that the people ordered, but if they complain, he gets pretty nasty:
This screenshot is from a customer who sent money to Waters, then, seeing questionable posts on his Facebook profile, became concerned that her money was being used to feed a drug habit. This screenshot is the exchange that she says took place when she asked for a refund.
Waters, for his part, says that the message is not him. “Absolutely not [sic] never had a conversation like that,” he says.
As the accusations continued to pile on, Waters doubled down, blaming the online assault on little more than jealous online trolls. “Unfortunately when you get a huge following on social media lies and rumors and jealousy come,” he says.
Elaine Phillips, of Florida, says she was a customer of Waters, and admits that the oil did help…when he sent it.
“I joined his group about 2 1/2 years ago and about 6 months later I ordered his cannabis oil,” she says. It helped her so much that she ordered a second time and took three months to receive her shipment. “It was so watery I got nauseous off it,” she says.
This time, when she emailed Waters, Phillips says she didn’t hear back for months, no matter how many emails or messages she sent him. She finally began to air her grievances on his own Facebook group in hopes of drawing out a response. “(Waters) put pictures of himself smoking and mushrooms and we’re waiting for our oil,” Phillips says.
She wasn’t alone. As she began be more vocal about her complaints, others came forward, also saying they were sending money but not getting shipments. Phillips recalls one family who came to the group to let everyone know that about a family member who had paid for an oil shipment eight months prior and never received it. That customer, the family said, died before they could ever get their oil.
Phillips said that Jeff Waters removed the post from the Facebook group.
In a recent conversation with Sapulpa Times, Waters denied that he even ships oil, despite having originally said via a comment on a Sapulpa Times Facebook Post that he was going to be bringing it to Sapulpa.
“I say a lot of things to spark conversation,” he says. “I did make oil and gave to free to locals here in Denver which (was) legal till I got sick. Not worth risking my legal status here to ship and it’s illegal to ship.”
One of our readers, located in Coweta, Oklahoma, says that’s not the case. In this exchange, which happened in March of 2018, Waters not only provided her with two different options for cannabis oil, but required that customers send payment via paypal as a gift, so as not to incur any additional fees.
Waters, now in his mid-forties, claims he’s recently been diagnosed with early on-set dementia as a result of his 23-day coma several years prior. He says the disease has caused him considerable financial harm, and he had a Fundly account set up with a goal of reaching $10,000 to help with living expenses. As of this writing, none of his Fundly campaigns seem to be active.