Charges opposite Montville integrate uncover tragedy between law enforcement, medical pot law
February 7, 2016 - garden totes
MONTVILLE — By a time investigators from a Maine Drug Enforcement Agency finished their 12-hour hunt during a Montville home of Randy and Margot Hayes, they had chopped down 57 pot plants – some as high as 7 feet and manifest from Center Road – and seized 11 pounds of marijuana. Inside a home, they had found bags and totes of pot and signs a integrate were offered pot.
The Hayeses, longtime medical pot patients, now face adult to 5 years in jail for transgression drug trafficking and misconduct pot cultivation charges in what appears to be an open-and-shut box of bootleg drug dealing. The series of pot plants found flourishing during their home, for example, distant exceeds a 6 flowering and 12 nonflowering plants any studious is authorised to possess underneath a state’s medical pot law.
But a Hayeses contend a box isn’t what it appears to be – and others in a state’s medical pot village are rallying around a couple, observant they are a victims of overly assertive drug coercion and ambiguity in a state’s medical pot rules.
Randy Hayes, who has a prior self-assurance for misconduct drug trafficking, says many of a plants seized by agents belonged to 5 other medical pot patients who were flourishing on his land. He says he and his mother were perplexing to approve with a law, yet didn’t comprehend a plants had to be in apart secure enclosures.
Their supporters disagree that a series of plants seized wasn’t over a extent for 7 patients because, during that time of a year – mid-August – pot plants flourishing outdoor haven’t reached a flowering stage. So nothing of a plants was nonetheless producing any of a psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol.
The Hayeses and their supporters also contend a 11 pounds of pot seized by agents didn’t violate a law since any studious is authorised to have adult to 8 pounds of unprocessed marijuana, yet a accurate clarification of unprocessed pot isn’t transparent to them underneath a medical pot module rules.
The Hayeses are scheduled to seem in justice again Tuesday. Meanwhile, a box has grown into one of a highest-profile medical pot prosecutions in Maine. Others in a medical pot village are holding events to lift income for a couple’s authorised invulnerability and examination a outcome closely.
“Alarmed would be a large word,” pronounced Dawson Julia, a caregiver from Unity and a believer of a couple. “If we make a mistake in a business practices, we shouldn’t be thrown in jail for it. It seems like people are removing in difficulty for what would be deliberate a tiny defilement in another industry.”
But Roy McKinney, executive of a MDEA, sees things differently. He pronounced his organisation handles a tiny series of pot cases – expected fewer than 100 a year – since many of their resources are used to fight a state’s heroin, opioid and methamphetamine problems. The usually chance for a defilement of a medical pot law is rapist action, he said.
“Either you’re in correspondence or you’re in defilement of rapist law,” he said. ‘There’s no gray area there.”
INDUSTRY TAKES ROOT
What happens in a Hayes box will have implications for a medical pot courtesy that has taken base and flourished, attracting a flourishing series of patients and caregivers. That’s generally loyal in farming areas, where residents don’t have easy entrance to any of a state’s 8 protected dispensaries.
Maine is one of 34 states that concede some form of medical cannabis. Maine ratified medical uses in 1999, and a state’s initial dispensaries non-stop in 2011. Last year, Maine’s module was voted a best medical pot module in a nation by Americans for Safe Access, a inhabitant organisation that advocates for authorised entrance to a drug.
The state can't yield an accurate series of patients since it does not keep a registry, yet doctors have printed some-more than 35,000 certificates compulsory underneath state regulations to plead patients. That series could embody duplicates and deputy certificates and is expected aloft than a tangible series of patients, according to a Department of Health and Human Services. There are 8 dispensaries opposite a state and some-more than 2,200 caregivers approved to yield medical pot to patients.
In 2015, Mainers spent $23.6 million on pot from dispensaries, a 46 percent burst from a prior year. Those sales – that don’t embody caregivers – generated $1.29 million in sales tax.
The Hayeses pleaded not guilty during their initial justice coming Dec. 11 in Waldo County Unified Court. Judge Patricia Worth set their bail during $500 unsecured any and set conditions that they can't use or possess bootleg drugs. They any face adult to 5 years in jail for a transgression drug trafficking assign and no some-more than a year in jail for a misconduct pot cultivation charge.
The Waldo County District Attorney’s Office, that is prosecuting a case, did not respond to requests for comment.
MDEA AGENTS SHOW UP
The Hayeses live in a 200-year-old farmhouse on Center Road with their dual children, whom they home-school. For year, they have grown their possess medical pot on their property, Five Star Pharm.
Randy Hayes pronounced he has used medical pot for many years to provide several medical conditions, including ongoing behind spasms, since he prefers not to use curative drugs. He was convicted of a misconduct drug trafficking assign and paid a $500 excellent after 22 ounces of pot was found on his skill in 1998, before a state’s medical pot module was in place. He pronounced he had a pot for medicinal purposes.
Margot Hayes, 46, has no rapist record. She pronounced she is approved as a medical pot studious underneath a subordinate ongoing eye condition, yet also finds medical cannabis useful for other ailments.
Until a raid final August, they grew their plants in their side yard, distant from a highway by an 8-foot picket fence. Randy Hayes, a 57-year-old former selectman, authorised 5 friends who are also patients to grow their plants in his yard, giveaway of charge. He pronounced he was training them how to grow their possess medicine.
Their plants held a courtesy of dual special agents with a MDEA as they gathering down Center Road on Aug. 18. They pulled into a drive of a Hayes home to speak to a homeowner about a plants, that could be seen over a tip of a blockade that distant a yard from a road, according to an MDEA inquisitive report. Randy Hayes told a agents he and his mother were medical pot patients.
“(Randy) Hayes was told that a best box unfolding is that Hayes shows us that his plants were in compliance. Hayes was told that from where we were station if Hayes wasn’t ideally in compliance, he was close, and we would shake hands and leave,” Special Agent Max King wrote in an inquisitive report. “But if there were immeasurable violations we would hoop it differently.”
Randy Hayes walked a questioning agents around a corner of his skill where a pot plants were growing, yet a area was not wholly surrounded by fencing as required, according to a MDEA report. He declined to agree to a search. Agents instead cumulative a hunt aver since of a plants that were manifest from a road.
During a search, investigators found 57 pot plants in a yard and on a deck, drying pot unresolved in a stable and what agents described as “loose” pot in jars, bags and a cosmetic receptacle in several bedrooms of a house. A male who stopped by a residence while MDEA agents were there told investigators that he had been shopping pot from Randy Hayes weekly for a past dual years, according to a inquisitive report.
Under a manners of a medical pot program, patients and caregivers who are not associated contingency grow their plants in apart enclosures. Each studious is authorised to possess adult to 2½ ounces of prepared marijuana, 6 mature plants, 12 womanlike nonflowering plants and adult to 8 pounds of confused pot in varying stages of processing. Only protected caregivers and dispensaries are authorised to sell pot to patients.
The inquisitive news does not prove either a plants were mature or nonflowering, yet did report them as healthy and abundant.
Logan Perkins, a Bangor profession who represents Randy Hayes, believes a MDEA charged a Hayeses with rapist violations for what should have been an executive emanate with a Department of Health and Human Services, that oversees a medical pot program.
“Those are executive manners about how we have to control yourself to be on a right side of a middle pot program,” she said. “Those are not rapist laws. If you’re in defilement of a rule, that does not meant you’re in defilement of a rapist law.”
The Hayeses did not comprehend any patient’s plants had to be cumulative in apart enclosures, according to their attorneys. Each plant was documented so they knew who it belonged to, yet their invulnerability attorneys declined to report a arrangement in some-more detail. State law prohibits a origination of collectives where caregivers grow pot together.
“They were underneath a sense that putting one blockade around a whole thing was a correct approach to do it,” pronounced Chris McCabe, a Portland profession who represents Margot Hayes.
Supporters of a Hayeses hosted a potluck dish and unison Saturday to lift income for their authorised defense. G.W. Martin, a former caregiver from Montville who has famous a integrate for years, hosted a celebration during his farm. He pronounced many people in a area know a Hayeses, whom he describes as active and free members of a community.
“Everybody hopes a best for them,” he said. “We’re all perplexing to do a best to follow a manners and we’re all behind Randy and Margot. These misleading manners impact everybody statewide.”
Under a medical pot program, patients and caregivers do not bear unchanging inspections to make certain they are complying with a regulations. Because of that, it can be wily for patients and caregivers to approve with each aspect of a law, advocates say.
Caregivers in states with medical pot programs mostly work with really small oversight. Most states do not frequently check caregivers to safeguard they are flourishing a correct series of plants and are following a rules, according to a 2015 review by a Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a inhabitant multimedia inquisitive stating project.
The Department of Health and Human Services, that oversees a medical pot program, declined to criticism for this story.
King Bishop, a longtime studious and disciple from circuitously Morrill, pronounced there are many patients and caregivers opposite a state who are undone with “gray areas” of a law and wish to see some-more clarity in a rules. Much of that disappointment centers on what indeed qualifies as a common and how to conclude a several stages of pot so patients and caregivers know how to scrupulously store it though violating a rules. Violations of those manners should be rubbed by DHHS, not law enforcement, he said.
“We’re saying order violations spin into felonies in a state,” Bishop said. “That’s dangerous. How can a studious who has a authorised right to grow be charged with bootleg cultivation?”
Randy Hayes pronounced a conditions has been stressful for his family, both since of a rapist charges and since they can't means to buy medical pot from dispensaries. He pronounced they wish to grow their possess plants subsequent deteriorate and will continue to pull to explain a medical pot regulations, regardless of a outcome of their cases.
“Out of all this madness, we wish to see clarity for a patients and caregivers in a state of Maine,” he said. “There’s a rulebook that everybody goes by, yet a gray areas are not a good thing.”
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