Pubdate: Thu, 31 Jul 2008
Source: Union, The (Grass Valley, CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Union
Author: Soumitro Sen, Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Marijuana - California)


There isn't a place in Nevada County where somebody doesn't grow dope.

Local police have discovered marijuana on people's front porch, in 
their vegetable gardens, in their backyards, at their parents' homes 
and even in their children's room.

Last Saturday, California state park police arrested a 35-year-old 
man on suspicion of growing pot on the grounds of the Empire Mine 
State Historic Park - better known for its rose garden. Police seized 
five marijuana plants after searching Adam Werle's residence on park 
property, said Ron Munson, park superintendent for the Sierra Gold 
sector of the California State Parks department.

Werle is a park maintenance worker who has been put on administrative 
leave since his arrest Saturday, Munson said. He was released the 
same day as his arrest from the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility on 
$10,000 bail, according to jail documents.

"It's a high-risk, high-gain trade," said Capt. Ron Smith with the 
Nevada County Sheriff's Office. "A pound of marijuana goes for 
$4,000. If you can get away with it, you can make a lot of money with 
very little effort."

Smith recalled a search he conducted a few years ago in North San 
Juan where a man was growing dope and drying the plants on ropes 
strung above his baby's crib.

"He went to jail for child endangerment," Smith said.

On another occasion, officers arrested a Grass Valley caregiver who 
was growing pot in the vegetable garden of an elderly person, Smith said.

In yet another case, a 16-year-old boy was found with a rifle, 
protecting the marijuana garden of his parents in North San Juan, 
while his parents were vacationing in Hawaii, Smith added.

"It's flabbergasting to see the amount of effort people will go 
through to grow marijuana in unique places," said sheriff's Lt. Frank 
Koehler. "We've found marijuana on steep inclines on (United States) 
Forest Service land, where you'd think a goat would have to plant it 
because of the steepness of the trail."

Koehler has seen pot being grown in bathrooms, in attics, on 
rooftops, even on trees with the plants wired to the branches.

"The majority of gardens we are finding now are commercial gardens," 
Smith said. The pot growers "are hiding behind Prop. 215."

Proposition 215 allows seriously ill patients to possess and grow 
marijuana if they are recommended to do so by their doctors.

Such patients may "possess up to two pounds of dried marijuana per 
qualified patient," according to the Nevada County Medical Marijuana 
Inter-agency protocol.

"A qualified patient or primary caregiver may also maintain no more 
than six mature female plants or, in the alternative, up to 75 square 
feet of total garden canopy, measured by the combined vegetative 
growth area, so long as the grow is consistent with the patient's 
recommendation," the sheriff's office mandates.

"A lot of people prefer to get high on marijuana as opposed to 
alcohol or harder drugs," Smith said. "So they grow it to get high or 
just to sell it."



Here's a list of some of the strange places pot has been found 
growing in Nevada County:





Vegetable gardens

On the front porch

In the backyard

Dried plants hanging over children's cribs

At mom's house

At the home of an elderly person receiving paid care

In trees, with plants wired to the branches

On state park land

On steep slopes of U.S. Forest Service land
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake