It’s more than a bit ironic that a resident of Weed, California, was arrested for having a "large" amount of “weed” growing in his barn along with processed and packaged pot.
In another twist of irony, prosecutors in Siskiyou County sent the case back to the county sheriff for further investigation, because the law is unclear on just what constitutes how much marijuana is too much.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News:
Until recently, California law limited medical marijuana users to possessing six mature or 12 immature plants, and 8 ounces of processed dried marijuana unless individual counties set higher limits. The state Supreme Court struck down those limits in January, sending police, prosecutors and users into a state of confusion over how much marijuana will not count as too much.
After serving a search warrant on Tom Stienstra’s Weed property, deputies confiscated 60 plants and more than 11 pounds of processed marijuana, sheriff’s deputies said.
Scales, packaging material and other paraphernalia were confiscated from Stienstra's barn and home, sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said.
Gravenkamp added that deputies also found recommendations for medical marijuana use for Stienstra, his wife and her 18-year-old son, who was not arrested, nor were their names or the names of the two men arrested along with Stienstra released.
Stienstra, 55,a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and outdoors writer, was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana for sale and released March 26 on $75,000 bail.
Because the case was sent back to the sheriff’s office for further investigation, no charges have yet to be filed, said Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus said.
If all of this isn’t enough to make a great scenario for a “Matlock” or “Perry Mason,” Stienstra is also a well-known California outdoors writer, who has a tri-weekly column in the San Francisco Chronicle and appears with some regularity on Northern California radio and television shows.
According to his Web site, he has authored more than 20 outdoor guide books, which have sold more than a million copies, and was twice named Writer-of-the-Year by the Outdoor Writers Association of America.
Siskiyou County is in Northern California and abuts Oregon’s southern border. While it may not be as well-known as other California locales, local officials know it as a major marijuana-growing center. The sheriff’s office reported that pot plants numbering in the hundreds of thousands were seized in the area last year.