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How Something Great Came Out of The Time I Was Kidnapped

A tied man to a chairSometimes in life we need to be broken down before we can get to the next level.

The following is a true story.

Early morning, British Columbia, 2005

Just like I did every morning, I was spending quality time with my daughter—eating breakfast, playing, having meaningful conversations in toddler gibberish, and reading storybooks to her.

All of a sudden, I hear loud voices from outside yelling, “Michael Straumietis, get out here! Come out here right now, Michael!”

I peek out the window and see Canadian Royal Mounted Police Officers standing out the front gate of my property.


I open the front door and ask, “Yeah, what’s up?”

A kneeling man held by nomad peopleThey immediately handcuff me, toss me in the back of their car, and tell me that they’re taking me to the border.

You see, four years earlier—in 2001—I was charged with growing marijuana.

The Canadian Government had frozen my bank accounts, seized over $1 million in assets, confiscated both business and personal records, and completely disrupted both my own finances, and the finances of Advanced Nutrients.

But since they had no case, the charges were stayed and my property was returned. In fact, to date it’s the largest forfeiture return in Canadian history.

And because of this, the feds were so pissed they actually decided to kick me out of the country.

HandcuffsSo here I am, being thrown into the back of a cop car and taken out of the country completely against my will. I don’t know what you call it when you’re dragged away from your child, forced into a car, and taken away from your home and loved ones—with no arrest warrant mind you—but I call it kidnapping.

Fortunately, my housekeeper was home so she could stay with my daughter for the time being until her mother got home.

I tell the officers that they can’t just take me out of the country, because I have a young Canadian daughter to care for, that taking me out of the country could be detrimental to her welfare, and that the law states that they have to put the best interest of the Canadian child first. I ask them to please take me to a judge so we can get this all straightened out.

“Mr. Straumieits, we’re not going to be taking you to a judge, we’re taking you to the border.”

And that’s exactly what they did.

When we get to the border, the two officers pause for a moment and look at each other, just like Thelma and Louise did before driving over the cliff.

One cop says to the other, “Should we really do this?”

The other officer just sits there for a moment—knowing that what they’re doing is wrong—and says, “Yeah, we have to.”

I’m taken over the border into the United States and handed over to U.S. border agents—separated from my family, my home, my friends, and my business.

This REALLY bummed me out at first. But if I know anything, it’s that feeling sorry for oneself leads nowhere.

I saw two roads. One where this destroys me, and one where I use the situation as rocket fuel for bigger and better things.

A move scene from Rocky 3I became determined to turn this around into something good—to make life better than ever.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I moved my family to Washington for a few months and then to sunny Southern California.

I doubled-up my efforts, learned everything I could about business, marketing, and making an impact on the world and I networked like never before.

I began working harder, longer, and smarter. I devoured books and courses like sumo wrestlers devour sushi. I resolved that I would use this experience—along with every seemingly negative thing that had ever happened to me in my life—to help others.

Sure, there were still lots of obstacles in my way, challenges to overcome, and dark nights to walk through, but once you get it in your gut that you’re going to do something and that nothing is going to stand in your way, life lines up to help you make it happen.

Look, we all go through our fair share of stuff. None of us are immune. And the more great things you set out to do, the more tests and trials will be thrown at you.

Shelfs with advanced nutrients productsIn the following years I took Advanced Nutrients from a $5 million a year company to an over $100 million a year company.

I started a charity program called Holiday Heroes that feeds thousands of hungry families each year.

I began a movement in Bulgaria called Political Change Now which has actually  grown into a major political party called New Bulgaria.

New Bulgaria is working hard to root out corruption from within the Bulgarian Judicial System, turn around the economy, and help the impoverished citizens of Bulgaria live the kind of life they truly deserve to live—a life where every Bulgarian stands equal in the eyes of the law, and can be prosperous, thrive, and follow their dreams.

I lost over 60 pounds of fat and committed myself to making health and fitness a priority in my life.

And now I share my experiences on this blog with people just like you, who can learn from the challenges, setbacks, and victories from my life.

Very green big BUDSI honestly believe that being kidnapped by the Canadian Royal Mounted Police and thrown out of Canada is one of the best things that ever happened to me—it’s what helped catapult me into the life I have today.

No matter what you’re going through, you CAN turn it around if just decide to, and get busy working to create change.

Napoleon Hill once said “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

If you can live your life with this in mind, and look for at least some aspect of good in everything you see and experience, life will reward you in GIANT ways.

And often the biggest gifts come from our biggest challenges.

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What you go through makes you stronger, wiser, and more understanding…IF you become determined that it will. The other option is to live an unfulfilled life of fear, suffering, and regret, which in my mind is no option at all.

Just like a muscle needs to be broken down before it can become stronger, sometimes we need to be broken down before we can become stronger as well.

A man rising his hands after workoutThe happiest, coolest, and most successful people I know—the ones who live the most awesome lives—are almost always the ones who went through the most stuff to get where they are today.

Like Bruce Lee said, “Do not pray for an easy life but pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

My sincere wish for you is that you take your struggles, losses, and challenges and turn them into gold—mentally, emotionally, psychically, spiritually, and financially.

And if this blog post helps you do this even a little bit, then I’ve served my purpose today.

I’d love to hear your comments below

Talk soon,
BigMike 🙂


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39 Responses to How Something Great Came Out of The Time I Was Kidnapped

  1. Avatar
    AZMedicalBud January 16, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    That truly sucks my friend. If you need a place to stay, it’s down right warm here in Arizona. Come on down and vacation at least. And I’d love to show off our LEGAL gardening and outstanding pheno’s and genetics.

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      hey thanks man, appreciate it. Actually turned out being one the best things that ever happened to me (=

      • Avatar
        merrijane January 23, 2014 at 10:10 am #

        Mike. just wanna tell ya ,Ive bin growing for 10yrs and I will not use anything else but Advanced Nutrients,I use Connissior A and B ….Big Bud, zensizym,Voodo Jce,B52 Bud Candy…Jungle jce…and I still don’t get a pd a light…never did ..Im not complaining just saying…

      • Avatar
        Ben Garber May 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

        Hey big Mike, my name is Ben, I am the owner of Humboldts Secret. Although our product Golden Tree is in competition with you and your products, I have to say you are one badass mother f’er.

        I went through a very similar thing that you went through, although I had no daughter. I am sure you can get an idea of what I mean. It is unfortunate that most people in the world do not know the knowledge you speak of. Great blog, and great articles. See you around.


  2. Avatar
    Tim January 16, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Thanks for the inspirational words Mike.I have always thought that we who have the capacity to make it – help themselves by helping others who might not have whatever it takes to get it done.

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      wise words tim

  3. Avatar
    tribawan kaul January 16, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    well man take a holiday in india and i will show you around. maybe you can teach us to grow our veggies better.
    a liitle bit of pot too would not be out of place. TK

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

      you’re too kind tribawan

  4. Avatar
    Joe January 16, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Thanks for sharing
    I hope you can donate some nutrients to my local elementary school and a omega garden to show are inner city youth the future of hydroponics and sustainable healthy living and for some maybe a career in agriculture your story is very similiar to over 50% of are kids who have there parents kidnapped from the police however they are incarcerated and become labeled and cannot get a job to support there family’s your story has a happy ending and hopefully with a small donation you can touch many kids and inspire there creativity and they can experience what it is to grow your own food and start a healthy food revolution with Advance Nutrients being the catalyst
    Thank you

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 20, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

      Hey Joe, absolutely we’ll help

      Someone from my team will be contacting you

  5. Avatar
    Sarah Patti January 16, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    Thank you for the inspiration. Your words touched my heart and brought me to tears because I have been struggling for quite some time now. I feel like the world has been crashing around me for years but I keep fighting and climbing I just cant seem to break free. I bought a house on my own at 24 or at least without any co-signers and have lived in this home for over 4 years without ever being late on a payment. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but only 2 days after I bought the house the company I worked for PRC went into chapter 11 and had to get rid of 90% of their staff and my boyfriend was one they let go right away. Because I had been there for over 2 years they kept me on for and additional month or so until the doors officially closed. So here I am with a new house, Steve, my son and Steve’s daughter and no job. I immediately started doing temp jobs and babysitting because we couldn’t afford daycare anymore and before I know it Steve and I had a son together. Not to mention my house never had an inspection because my realtor told me to save the money the house was great and the owners had one done. I beat myself up everyday because of that how stupid I was to trust her. First day living at my home water started falling through the walls because the pluming wasn’t connected in one of the bathrooms. I have broken tile taped together all over my kitchen floor because the floor in uneven so the tile keeps breaking, realized after buying the house that there were no drawers to put silver wear away in the kitchen, and black mold growing on all levels now. My kids can’t play in the backyard because my neighbors Rottweiler keeps breaking the fence and I’m afraid the dog will get them. My oldest son Xavior has developed asthma and allergies since living in this house. He tells me when he comes home its hard for him to breath and he sneezes constantly and coughs…… It’s killing me I wonder what have I done. We pay all our bills but can’t but cant afford to fix the house. So I have been looking for work and trying to fix the simple things I know how. We live in CO and wish we could be apart of the Marijuana industry but with all this knowledge we posses it means nothing without the money to get started. One of my dreams is to have a Marijuana smoke lounge café but by the time I can afford it there will be to many here. I’m sad… I have a drive to be successful and the work ethic to back me up but I keep falling short. I do pray for the strength to endure all that has and will be thrown at me and I’m super hopeful of all the positive to come!! Well I am so sorry to talk your ear off I just found some strength and a moment of piece in your words that maybe soon I’ll make it. I thank you for that!!! Peace be with you!!!

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 16, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

      hey Sarah sorry to hear about your situation but I do know that you CAN turn it around

      the human spirit is capable of amazing things

      I have faith in you Sarah

      • Avatar
        merrijane January 23, 2014 at 10:03 am #

        hey ,what a difference a day makes,,,,your life could change ina day..but ya have to keep the positive vibe alive and get rid of negitives,

  6. Avatar
    Mike"Cleveland Garden" January 16, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    How did you beat the case against you ? Being in federal prison for 5 years and 4 months myself and seeing first hand what the feds are capable of I am personally amazed that you were not convicted. And having your property returned on top of that is STUNNING to say the least. If you go to this website you will see that the US federal conviction rate in 2010 was 93%.

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 20, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      Hey Mike, well, for one it was in Canada and not the US. Canada is a much safer place to grow as the government doesn’t love throwing people in Jail for growing like they do in the US. The US imprisons more people than any other country. It’s big business in the US. I think the US imprisons 716 people per 100,000 while Canada is just 114 people per 100,000 – got this from Wikipedia.

      Also, I was VERY careful how I did everything, VERY careful.

      Plus, I had an AMAZING team of lawyers who I would hold seminars with for my grow team, where the team could ask the lawyers questions about how to best protect themselves.

      Also, if any of my growers were to ever get in trouble they had a # they would call. They would immediately get legal representation, be bailed out and I would pay for all their legal fees.

      And, they had no evidence against me.

      So basically, it was a great legal team, no evidence and it was in Canada, not the US.

  7. Avatar
    icysurfer January 16, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    Again, wise words from Ya… I agree. My life has been incredibly interesting, comprising living on 3+ continents.. My old friends who chased Security are not much better offthan I am – but think they are.. I saw it all with Young eyes and legs- doing it ALL.. Being vindicated by the Medical and legalization movements. Spending a decade in the Pot Growing area of NorCal, no boss, Amsterdam yearly trips, surfing kayaking, Costa Rica, Tahiti, Hawaii for 3 years riding big waves, and free-diving daily while working 2 jobs in Jungle Land – – mushroom hunting in Norcal. I won, because of all the experiences, and will win, even though I am a bit down right now. We are KICKING ASS right now – it is OUR TIME.. Thanks Mike, You are an inspiration.

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 16, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      hey thanks for your kind words

      You’ve like a helluva life. So awesome

      You’re an inspiration as well my friend

  8. Avatar
    icysurfer January 16, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Please note that I applied today to be a “Business Buddy,” through our local AN rep. I presently run a Hydro store in a “medical” state.

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 16, 2014 at 7:25 pm #


  9. Avatar
    patty sylvester January 16, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    Mike, I cannot tell you how much my life has been upheaveled by the same type of circumstances you endured in Canada I have endured here in Washington. I can tell you that your words have really helped me as I am in a phase of my life that seems to have somewhat a lot in common with what you went through. Thank you,

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 16, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      you’re welcome Patty

  10. Avatar
    PHD January 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    It has to do with a long time ago , king solomon – but not the KS story , it’s the good old boys union.

    #1 the gov dont like competition in politics “follower power” it was well known when elvis presley started singing natinaly on TV..

    #2 incomes being large but your not related to the Queen of england, and or, good old boys network. (AKA slang /; mason , illuminati, bilderberg, NWO , ect…ect…

    #3 the gov objective is to keep control, by keeping the ppl poor, here comes our GOV offical “We can not account for trillion dollars Lost of the Public’s money , and on one occasion the next day, a 911 scam on NY twin towers, scam on bld 5 arson and accounting dept white house DC arson . (Irresponsible pre school world GOVs, ALL, Maurice Strong , sir duke dirk king warren buffett, ect ect,,) CF gas scam to now carbon taxing.

  11. Avatar
    gREEN gROWER January 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Nice story, thank for sharing that. Here in Mexico, are glad to use your philosphy made nuts!! For sure we will stay in touch! Hope you to see our results! Also want to learn more and help others! Saludos amigo!
    el gREEN gROWER!

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm #


  12. Avatar
    John Perry January 16, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    Hey there.

    Thank you for the inspirational words, I have just finished reading ” Thing and grow rich” and “psycho cybernetics”. This all rings true with my feelings, you are truly a good person x

    • BigMike
      BigMike January 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm #


  13. Avatar
    Tim January 16, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    A great man said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

  14. Avatar
    Robert H Hastings January 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Pretty much same thing happened to me but I had my Health Canada card and my 3 year old daughter was stranded for 6 months. ‘Course they always love to kidnap you on a Friday before a three day weekend so your screwed for three days. I was a bit lucky in that they held me in the basement of the yvr Fairmont -food was great -had a private room with bath and cable. Lots of great friends in Canada and love the summers there but the gov is a bunch of thugs. The rcmp is a deep state organization that runs the country and rigs elections. Greatest respect to freedom fighters like Mike, Dana Larsen, Marc Emery

  15. Avatar
    D.Watts January 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    Wow, what a wierd and tough time that must have been. Good to hear you made the best from a bad situation; and motivating others how to think thru and overcome hard times is a great thing. Trying to help others who have no voice in govt. is also honerable. thanks for sharing your experience. love Advanced too!

  16. Avatar
    KJ January 17, 2014 at 1:57 am #

    Thanks for your blog, it was definitely something i needed to hear right now even though i already know it! There is always good that can come from the bad, it all depends on how u look at it and what u do about it. Taking your business from 1 mill to 50 mill is impressive and not easy. I love to see that passion when it comes to growing and helping other people. Keep up the good work!

    These last two years have been tough for me and I’m trying to do exactly what you did, look at it as an opportunity and not let it defeat me. I’ve been growing for 7 years except I haven’t been perfecting my green thumb for the last 2 1/2 years because i got in trouble with the law. It’s been hard to stay positive with a felony record and the law holding me back but I’m not going to let them win. I get off probation in February and I can’t wait to get back to doing what I love and do best. I want to grow legally for the clinics from now on, IS THERE ANY ADVICE OR SUGGESTIONS YOU HAVE FOR ME TO MAKE MY MEDICAL GROW LEGAL AND SUCCESSFUL. I know you’ve delt with this before and i was hoping i could get some help, this is my email fatstashpro@gmail.com. Thanks for all the great products and i hope to hear from u MIKE.

    2014 is going to be a great year brother, take it easy.

    Kris J

  17. Avatar
    koronado b. apuzen January 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Hi Big Mike,

    Thanks. I’m inspired. Truly, great things await those who test the limits of the possible. Bless you!


  18. Avatar
    Calvin George January 18, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    Thanks Mike — your story makes me want to do not just keep thinking about how i lost my factory but to get up and do something different — Thanks again

  19. Avatar
    Cannabis Country January 19, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Wow, why didn’t I hear about this sooner? Man I am glad to see you turned this around. I have to say you look totally different. I am still saying no, that doesn’t look like the big mike from Advanced Nutrients I know. You may not know it, but I know you pretty well actually.

    A few years back I did a interview with your company when you released your Baddass Ballasts and other products. The interview was for my then new blog Cannabis Country.

    I am really glad your doing ok but I think you need to get your story out there so more people know. The only reason I know is because I got a e-mail from you in my personal e-mail address. Didn’t even know you guys had that address. I am very glad you did because I had no idea what happened.

    I would love to do another interview with you or share your story on my website. How can I reach you now? You have my website’s e-mail address so do me a favor and shoot me a e-mail.

    Hope to talk to you soon

    Cannabis Country

  20. Avatar
    Higzy January 23, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    “What you go through makes you stronger, wiser, and more understanding…IF you become determined that it will.”


    This really has inspired me, in ways you will never know. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and for sharing your experience. This has awakened something in me. “Bigger and better in 2014” …These are the words I scribbled into a calendar in my newly constructed grow area.

    Here’s to New Beginnings.
    Cheers from Toronto, Canada.


  21. Avatar
    Neal Wayne January 26, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    Don’t forget about Rick Simpson’s oil.

    It works for asthma and allergies as well as cancer, anything caused by molds or fungus…

    It’s been working for ADD too, can it be caused by a fungus?

  22. Avatar
    Christopher January 26, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    You are my hero

  23. Avatar
    Bob February 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    True words Mike..noone is immune to struggles and the downs life can bring. I appreciate you sharing your story. I also live in so-cal and agree, many of the successful people I know have had their share of struggles. And like you said, the people who use their struggle as a lesson and are positive and grow from the torment life can through at us, are the some of the coolest people I have ever met. Growing up my friends and I had a saying “Before you can be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid!” also ” Life is a test, you get the answers first and the questions later.” We never know why shit happens but as long as we grow we will prosper.
    Plus it’s sunny in so cal aaalllll the time, so thats a bonus. Thanks for all the great products. Stay up through 2014, maybe grow some more.

  24. Avatar
    Dave May 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    Hey Mike,

    I live in Australia, I’m 34 and life was peachy until the cops turned up and disagreed with my choice of horticultural hobbies. They left my place with 6kg of weed and a range of other stuff. It’s almost a year on and I haven’t even got a date for court as yet, bad timing from something unrelated brought my successful business to a grinding halt and the stress was to much for my girlfriend and I lost her as well.
    I know feeling sorry for ones self leads nowhere, yet try as a might I just can’t seem to climb m way out of the shit pit, so to speak. My question is, how does one go about turning that negative into a positive when every attempt keeps ending with negatives.

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Dave Pink.

  25. Avatar
    Paul m January 4, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    Hey Big Mike, I absolutely love all the words of advice and information on this website. I was recently locked up against my will, having committed no crime, and hurt no one. THC was found in my blood at the emergency room when I was brought there. And after that I was sent to a psych ward (no joke). I’m still on a court ordered committal, for drug treatment, and I don’t understand how or why this can be done to an adult that hasn’t committed a crime or broke any law. But after reading your positive words, I feel better. Thanks a bunch and keep up the badass work!
    Sincerely, Paul

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