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Source: Redding Record Searchlight
Author: Maline Hazle
Pub Date: July 11, 2000
Contact: letters@redding.com
Author Contact: mhazle@redding.com

Judge Zaps Marijuana Count
Two other men face charges in the same case

A Shasta County Superior Court judge Monday dismissed a marijuana
possession charge against an Anderson man who is disabled by skeletal birth
defects and uses a wheelchair.

"The choice is marijuana or suicide," attorney Janice Mackey told Judge
Gregory Caskey of her client, Frank Port, 29, a card-carrying medicinal
marijuana user under Proposition 215.

As Caskey looked at Port's doctor's recommendation, Senior Deputy District
Attorney Brent Ledford asked that the case be dismissed.

"I was going to do that," Caskey said.

Port was charged with possession of about 2 1/2 grams of marijuana, a
misdemeanor. Outside court Port said Redding police seized about 40 grams
when he was arrested, but he was charged only for the smaller amount.

Port's case involves two other Anderson men: Josh Bushey, 25, and Toby
Ladewig, 25, who face separate proceedings next month. The two accompanied
Port to court Monday. Another patient involved in the case has not been

Bushey says he is Port's legal caregiver under Proposition 215, the state's
compassionate use act. Ladewig is caretaker for an Anderson woman who is
not charged in the case.

Ladewig said he was driving a van in Redding on May 3. Port and Bushey
were passengers.

The group had purchased 24 marijuana plants and was en route to the place
where they planned to plant them, Port said. Some of the plants were for
the Anderson woman for whom Ladewig is a caregiver, Port said.

A Redding police officer stopped the van on Park Marina Drive for allegedly
running a yellow light, Ladewig said. The three were not arrested, but the
marijuana was confiscated, he said.

On May 4 police returned six of the plants to Ladewig and the Anderson
woman. Port and Bushey later were notified by mail that they had been
charged. Ladewig said he learned that he, too, had been charged when he
accompanied them to court.

Ladewig and Bushey also were charged with marijuana trafficking and their
case was split from Port's.

State law does not limit the number of marijuana plants a patient can grow
or use, but Redding police and Shasta County sheriff's deputies earlier
this year adopted "guidelines" limiting patients to possession of two
outdoor plants or three indoor plants or 1.33 pounds of processed marijuana.

Ledford could not be reached for comment.

Reporter Maline Hazle can be reached at 225-8266 or at mhazle@redding.com.