Pubdate: Tue, 11 Jul 2000
Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Redding Record Searchlight - E.W. Scripps
Contact:  PO Box 492397, Redding, CA 96049-2397
Author:  Maline Hazle, 225-8266 or JUDGE ZAPS MARIJUANA COUNT

Two Other Men Face Charges In The Same Case

A Shasta County Superior Court judge Monday dismissed a marijuana
possession charge against an Anderson man who is disabled by skeletal
birth defects and uses a wheelchair.

"The choice is marijuana or suicide," attorney Janice Mackey told
Judge Gregory Caskey of her client, Frank Port, 29, a card-carrying
medicinal marijuana user under Proposition 215.

As Caskey looked at Port's doctor's recommendation, Senior Deputy
District Attorney Brent Ledford asked that the case be dismissed.

"I was going to do that," Caskey said.

Port was charged with possession of about 2 1/2 grams of marijuana, a
misdemeanor.  Outside court Port said Redding police seized about 40
grams when he was arrested, but he was charged only for the smaller

Port's case involves two other Anderson men:  Josh Bushey, 25, and
Toby Ladewig, 25, who face separate proceedings next month.  The two
accompanied Port to court Monday.  Another patient involved in the
case has not been charged.

Bushey says he is Port's legal caregiver under Proposition 215, the
state's compassionate use act.  Ladewig is caretaker for an Anderson
woman who is not charged in the case.

Ladewig said he was driving a van in Redding on May 3.  Port and
Bushey were passengers.

The group had purchased 24 marijuana plants and was en route to the
place where they planned to plant them, Port said.  Some of the plants
were for the Anderson woman for whom Ladewig is a caregiver, Port said.

A Redding police officer stopped the van on Park Marina Drive for
allegedly running a yellow light, Ladewig said.  The three were not
arrested, but the marijuana was confiscated, he said.

On May 4 police returned six of the plants to Ladewig and the Anderson
woman.  Port and Bushey later were notified by mail that they had been
charged.  Ladewig said he learned that he, too, had been charged when
he accompanied them to court.

Ladewig and Bushey also were charged with marijuana trafficking and
their case was split from Port's.

State law does not limit the number of marijuana plants a patient can
grow or use, but Redding police and Shasta County sheriff's deputies
earlier this year adopted "guidelines" limiting patients to possession
of two outdoor plants or three indoor plants or 1.33 pounds of
processed marijuana.

Ledford could not be reached for comment.
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