VICTORVILLE, CA -- A judge ordered Friday that the Sheriff's Department
not destroy marijuana that was seized during a raid on the home of two
medical marijuana users.

Gary Barrett, 34, and Anna Barrett, 31, had their garden of 47 large
plants and dozens of smaller plants seized during an October raid.

Superior Court Judge Stephen Ashworth quickly agreed to order the
Sheriff's Department to not destroy the seized marijuana plants.

The Barretts' attorney, Daniel B. Halpern, argued that the Barretts'
marijuana growing equipment has been destroyed in the past, before the
prior cases went to trial.

"What kind of evidence are we talking about?" Ashworth asked. "Grow

"Marijuana," Halpern answered.

"Marijuana itself," Ashworth responded.

Eventually the judge allowed Halpern to serve San Bernardino County
Sheriff's Department with orders not to destroy the plants.

This isn't the first conflict the Barretts have had over growing marijuana
for what they say are medical conditions. Gary Barrett said he uses
marijuana to treat his Crohn's cdisease, a digestive tract disorder, and
also said marijuana helped him kick a heroin habit. Anna Barrett said she
uses pot to treat chronic pain she has suffered since a five-story fall in

Both have doctor's recommendations to use marijuana for medical purposes.

They were allowed to grow 34cq adult flowering plants not to exceed 7.1cq
pounds, the Barretts said.

The plants that were seized, they said, were within the court-ordered
limits. Some of the plants were dead; some were saplings; and some were
not yet ready to be harvested.

The couple faces trial for cultivation of marijuana, said Deputy District
Attorney James Hosking, who is with the marijuana suppression unit.

Hosking said he didn't oppose the marijuana being preserved. "I oppose it
being returned," Hosking said.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Det. Robbie Ciolli said part of the
evidence is sent to the crime lab for analysis. Usually the rest of the
evidence is destroyed. He said the Barretts' marijuana has not been

Pubdate: Saturday, December 21, 2002
Author: David Schwartz, Staff Writer
Source: Daily Press