Usually when people call the cops to report their drugs have been stolen, it’s an immediate facepalm moment. But not so in the case of a medical marijuana grower in Maine who reported the theft of $12,800 worth of pot plants. Ah, what a difference legal drug ownership makes! Not that police didn’t feel a bit squirrelly about reuniting the man and his greenage.
The state-licensed marijuana caregiver was burglarized last week, reports the Bangor Daily News, when cops say a 32-year-old man broke into the greenhouse and pilfered 17 marijuana plants. In doing so, he cut holes the greenhouse in two places and used clippers to snag the targeted plants.
The alleged thief was nabbed and told cops where he’d taken his ill-gotten stash. But once police had the plants, they weren’t quite sure if it would violate federal law to return the medical marijuana.
Finally the police chief made the executive decision to return the plants to the rightful owner, as medical marijuana is legal under Maine law.
Only about 15% of the crop can be salvaged, says the man, which is only about a month’s worth for him and his patients. He’s a state-licensed caregiver for three patients as well as treating himself for chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia. He had to call the authorities, he says, because the longer the plants were gone, the more likely they’d be to get moldy. The plants were out of his hands from Wednesday until Saturday.
“I knew it would be useless by the time it got back to me,” he told the Bangor Daily News. “The second it left the greenhouse, it was a matter of time.”
The up side of the story is that now perhaps local police departments will have a precedent when dealing with medical marijuana, says the man.
“It’s not the Wild West out here,” he said. “I feel like most of what I’m salvaging is a chance to get this out to the public, to let people know they can’t target medical marijuana patients and growers. The police will protect us.”
And a warning to thieves not to steal something just because they think they can get away with it.
Ellsworth police return stolen pot to medical marijuana caregiver [Bangor Daily News]