Pubdate: Sat, 13 Feb 2010
Source: Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Copyright: 2010 The Union Leader Corp.
Note: Out-of-state letters are seldom published.
Author: Dan O'Brien
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - United States)


GOFFSTOWN - A Weare couple whose son's alleged marijuana distribution 
ring got them and 11 other people arrested said before his 
arraignment that drug laws need to be changed.

James Cashman, 25, of 64 Burnt Hill Road, Weare, was arraigned in 
Goffstown District Court yesterday, where Judge Paul Lawrence set 
bail at $100,000 cash.

Police said Cashman sold marijuana out of the home for at least a 
year and had as many as 130 customers a week, many of them high 
school students. He's charged with nine counts of selling a 
controlled drug and one count of conspiracy to sell drugs, police said.

Thirteen people were arrested Thursday night when Weare police 
decided to close their 11-month investigation.  Four alleged 
customers are juveniles who attend John Stark Regional High School.

Cashman's mother, Maryellen Colvin, 48, and her husband, Douglas 
Colvin, 59, were arrested for allegedly allowing the operation and 
interfering with police. They attended Cashman's arraignment 
yesterday and told reporters they believe his arrest was unnecessary.

Maryellen Colvin said, "I believe that marijuana should be legalized. 
It will not hurt you. Most of your medicines you take nowadays hurt 
you internally.  Alcohol will hurt you.

"This is not right. By putting these kids (in prison) with felonies, 
they're not going to get jobs," she said, adding that no one younger 
than 21 should smoke pot.

"The ones that overdo alcohol, they're the ones that get violent," 
said Douglas Colvin, who is Cashman's stepfather and was struck with 
a Taser when police raided his home.

Police also Tasered the couple's dog, named Cannabis, twice after it 
allegedly bit an officer, authorities said.

Police said neighbors repeatedly complained about cars coming and 
going from the property.

On Feb. 18, 2009, police arrested the Colvins, Cashman and Douglas 
Colvin's son Andrew Colvin after a man who police said tried to buy 
marijuana at their home was allegedly ripped off and threatened with a firearm.

"The actions going on in (their) home endangered the children of the 
neighborhood," Sgt. Lou Chatel said. "I don't think they realized the 
danger it caused."

William Arnold, 29, of Weare arrived at Cashman's home Thursday night 
as police searched it and allegedly told a plain-clothed officer 
standing outside that he was trying to buy marijuana, police said. 
Arnold was arrested on several charges.

Cashman was initially held on $50,000 cash bail, but the judge 
doubled that amount after Chatel, the police prosecutor, cited past 
convictions and said Cashman allegedly admitted earning $1,000 a week 
in pot sales.

"The court sent out a strong message that this is not going to be 
tolerated," Chatel said.

Police said the other people arrested were picked up over the course 
of the day Thursday after they had bought marijuana from Cashman and 
were followed away from the property by police.

Police Chief Greg Begin said the timing of the arrests had nothing to 
do with a State House committee's recommendation Thursday that 
restrictions against marijuana use be eased.

"Absolutely not," Begin said. "It had nothing to do with any proposed 

Police watched Cashman's home a handful of times over the past 11 
months, but not consistently.

"We're a small department. As time permitted, we would continue the 
investigation," Begin said.

Chatel said police confiscated a small amount of marijuana from the 
home, in addition to paraphernalia.  Police seized seven automobiles 
belonging to Cashman and the others arrested and are attempting to 
seize the Colvins' home.

School district interim Superintendent Pam Shepard said two of the 
four John Stark Regional High School students arrested had permission 
from their parents to leave school early Thursday. The other two 
students were dismissed at the usual time and were arrested late in 
the afternoon.

Shepard could not divulge why the two students were dismissed early. 
School officials are cooperating with police.

"It's distressing to think that this goes on in the community," 
Shepard said. "We educate and give students as much information as we 
can, but they're still vulnerable."

Shepard confirmed that Cashman is a John Stark graduate. He has been 
ordered to attend a probable cause hearing Tuesday in Goffstown District Court.

The other people charged in the case are Michael Holt, 18, of Weare; 
Scott Lamson, 19, of Concord; Devin St.  Gelais, 17, of Weare; Peter 
Donison, 18, of Weare; and Harrison Smith, 17, of Weare, who was 
simply taken into protective custody.

Police did not release the names of the Stark students who were arrested.

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