Oops. We had a little too much fun with the story when we learned that an Orange County man reported earlier this month that someone had burgled his bud — 25 pounds worth. Really? Just tell 'em nothing was taken was our advice.
As it happens, Newport Beach police tell the Costa Mesa Daily Pilot this week that the victim was okay to possess so much marijuana after all.
Seems to us there's a legal gray area here (even a legislator's aide we called about it couldn't come up with a quick answer about whether having so much cannabis would be legit), but here's the deal, according to the Pilot:
“Under state law, a cultivator can possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana, and six mature or 12 immature plants per patient.”
The cultivator has to be a “primary caregiver” for “patients.”
We guess this guy had a lot of patients. Cops say he was operating a collective. Out of his Santa Ana Heights home?
Ironically, that could be a bigger problem for authorities, and that aspect of the caper is still under investigation.
The man, who has not been identified, was the victim of a burglary Feb. 6. He didn't call the fuzz. A neighbor who spotted someone breaking in did. But the victim did tell cops some green stuff about yea high was gone.
Interestingly, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano recently introduced a bill that would allow prosecutors to make marijuana cultivation — currently an automatic felony in California — a misdemeanor.
If it's an automatic felony, why is growing a little for patients okay?
Bill co-sponsor David Eyster says:
“The proposed change affords local District Attorneys the charging discretion to determine, for example, that a home gardener with a few non-medical marijuana plants will not be prosecuted at the same level as a profiteer operating a major marijuana plantation.”
Confused? We are too.
We have a call into our expert at NORML. If he gets back we'll tell you what he says.