Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jul 2009
Source: St. Charles Journal (MO)
Copyright: 2009 St. Louis Post-Dispatch L.L.C
Author: Steve Pokin, Staff Writer


The central committee of the St. Charles County  Libertarian Party
last month urged county Prosecutor  Jack Banas to drop criminal
charges against Kenneth  Wells, accused of growing marijuana in his

Wells, 54, of unincorporated St. Charles County, stated  in the June 7
Pokin Around column that he grew the  plants in his basement for
medical reasons that include  epilepsy and other neurologic problems
stemming from a  1983 stroke.

But Missouri does not have a medical marijuana law that  allows
growing and using marijuana when prescribed by a  medical doctor.
Thirteen states have such a law.

Wells' trial is scheduled for Sept. 1. He faces five to  15 years in

"First and foremost, what people do in their own home  is their own
business," said Allen J. Underdown,  chairman of the Libertarian
central committee for the  county.

"We are allowed to have alcohol and we are allowed to  have cigarettes
and both are detrimental from medical  and personal perspectives,"
Underdown said.

The Libertarian Party supports the legalization of  marijuana not only
for medical use but for recreational  use, as well.

The party does not typically attract many voters. In  the November
election for Missouri governor,  Libertarian candidate Andrew W.
Finkenstadt, of  unincorporated St. Charles County, gathered 1,887 
votes, or 1 percent of the St. Charles County vote.

Banas said the group should focus on changing state law  instead of
trying to convince his office to not  prosecute those who break the
existing law.

Wells' marijuana - 27 plants and 1.4 pounds - was  discovered by
firefighters when his house on Pond  Hollow Drive caught fire Jan. 16,

Banas has said there is no evidence Wells was selling  or distributing
marijuana. Banas said he does not  consider the amount large enough to
make prosecutors  suspect Wells was supplying others.
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