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Medical Marijuana Patient And Wife Fight Arrests


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BARSTOW - A Barstow married couple that was arrested for marijuana cultivation during a gang sweep Friday is attempting to fight the charges because the husband is a medical marijuana patient.

Brian Depue, 29, and Joelle Depue, 24, were arrested at their home on the 400 block of McBroom Avenue when police discovered marijuana growing in the house. Sgt. Andy Espinoza Sr. said on Friday that officers were attempting to serve a warrant, but the target of the warrant was not at the residence. Brian said he was told that the warrant was for a woman who gave his address to police as her prior residence. Espinoza said that it is possible that a criminal gave a wrong address to police.

Brian said he was in the desert geocaching, where people use GPS receivers to locate hidden objects, when Joelle called to tell him officers were at the house and to ask where his medical marijuana documentation was. He then drove back to his house. Brian said despite showing officers his documentation Joelle and him were arrested.
Brian said he has an attorney and is fighting the charges.

"I feel like my rights as a patient were completely violated," Brian said. "They didn't care that I was a patient. They haven't even given me my original recommendation letter back. They won't return it."

Espinoza Sr. said there were 41 plants in the house Friday. However, Brian said he was also growing for another medical marijuana patient. He said many of his plants were dead or what he called clones, which are cuttings taken from plants, and that most never become plants. Espinoza Sr. said that it did not appear that the Depue's fit the state's description of a caretaker, and possessed too many plants.

Brian said his recommendation allows him to use as much marijuana is necessary to treat Crohn's disease which has no cure and causes pain and other symptoms in the digestive system. He was diagnosed with when he was 18. Brian said he believes the disease was caused by exposure to chromium 6 that occurred while he was living on Summerset Road in Hinkley as a child. He said the house he lived in has now been demolished.

Chromium 6 contamination came to light in Hinkley in a 1987 water quality survey, and PG&E began clean-up efforts in 1992. Legal action by more than 600 residents alleging ailments from chromium 6 consumption led to a $333 million PG&E settlement and was the basis for the 2000 movie "Erin Brockovich."

Brian was prescribed marijuana by a doctor at Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center, a clinic in Norco, in January.

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Source: Desert Dispatch
Contact: Desert Dispatch
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Website:Medical marijuana patient and wife fight arrests | patient, arrests, wife - News - Desert Dispatch
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