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Man Busted With Ton Of Pot


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A Nevada City man arrested recently on suspicion of growing marijuana for sale said Tuesday the county needs clear rules for people to follow when growing for medical purposes.

Thomas J. Wease, 42, said he would have kept his marijuana garden, in an area near North San Juan, within allowable limits had he clearly understood the rules. Sgt. Bill Evans of the Nevada County Narcotics Task Force agreed the rules need to be more clear. Evans said he hopes to work with the District Attorney's office and local medicinal growers on that issue at the end of the harvest season, which lasts through October. Evans said he would like to see legitimate growers register with the county, list their medical recommendations and register their gardens.

Wease was growing 137 plants and had 23 medical recommendations, most of them for patients in Southern California, Evans said. The recommendations include one for the unemployed carpenter to treat his back pain, which has left him disabled for three years, Wease said. A recommendation is like a prescription written by a medical doctor. Dozens of medical uses for marijuana have been recognized for decades. County guidelines allow 10 plants or two pounds of processed buds for each recommendation. Medicinal growers may raise marijuana for five local recommendations and one out of area recommendation, Evans said.

Wease is suspected of growing marijuana way beyond legitimate medical needs. On Friday, narcotics deputies seized 109 of Wease's plants. The 2,000 pounds of unprocessed green plant required two pickup trucks and a trailer to haul it out, Evans said. At the same time, they arrested Wease on suspicion of illegal cultivation, possession for sale, being armed while committing or attempting a felony and resisting arrest. He was booked into Wayne Brown Correctional Facility, and posted a $10,750 bail bond.

Wease said he asked deputies on the telephone, prior to the seizure, to tell him whether his crop was legitimate. "I wasn't trying to do anything wrong and if I was doing something wrong, if that man had just called me on the phone and said, 'You need to take out 50 plants,' I would have taken a machete and gone out and chopped them down and brought them to his office," Wease said. He also said the weapon involved is an old family keepsake that doesn't work.

"I didn't know it was in the back room in ( my stepson's ) closet," Wease said.

The boy, a 16-year-old, was at the residence alone when narcotics officers first viewed the plants Thursday. At that time, Wease was returning from a trip to Hawaii to visit his wife, the boy's mother, Wease said.

A separate investigation regarding child endangerment also is underway, Evans said.

Newshawk: SirBlazinBowl - 420Times.com
Source: Union, The (CA)
Copyright: 2005 Nevada County Publishing Company
Contact: letters@theunion.com
Website: http://www.theunion.com/
Author: Trina Kleist
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