Man growing too much pot, officials say

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By MIKE MORRIS

A Vallecito man robbed of his marijuana at gunpoint last week was growing more than five times the legal limit for medicinal use, authorities said.

Calaveras County Sheriff's Deputy Louis Larson of the Calaveras Narcotics Enforcement Unit said more than 30 "fairly large" pot plants were seized when deputies foiled last Tuesday's robbery at Bill Harrison's home.

Larson said that all together, the 8- to 12-foot plants weighed about 300 pounds.

Harrison, 53, has a license to grow marijuana for chronic rib pain and vertigo, however, the legal limit for medicinal purposes in Calaveras County is six plants.

"I believe I haven't broken any laws," Harrison said Friday afternoon as two deputies conducted follow-up investigations at his home on Little Valley Road. "Calaveras County is mistaken, and I'll prove to them they're wrong."

Harrison said his San Andreas doctor prescribed that he could grow as much pot as he felt he needed.

"It's a prescription between a doctor and their patient," Harrison said.

He grew 12 plants last year, but said a bug infestation kept him from harvesting much.

This year was different.

"This year they've happened to be large," Harrison said of the plants.

According to a Calaveras County Sheriff's report, four people invaded Harrison's home the evening of Sept. 23. The armed robbers threatened Harrison and his friend, Gregory Sturgis, 47, before stealing a large amount of pot from his garden.

As the robbers tried to leave with the marijuana loaded in a U-Haul truck, deputies arrived and the thieves ran. The officers lost them in the dark.

No charges have been filed as of this morning against Harrison, but sheriff officials said they are looking into the amount of pot he could legally have.

As for the robbery, no one has been arrested although sheriff's Capt. Mike Walker said the department is following through with concrete leads.

11510767
The Union Democrat
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