Pubdate: Tue, 20 Jul 2010
Source: Abilene Reporter-News (TX)
Copyright: 2010 Abilene Reporter-News
Author: Celinda Emison
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


The 20-year-old Amarillo man arrested on a charge of possession of 
medical marijuana in late June remains in custody at the Brown County Jail.

Law enforcement officials in Brown County continue to stand by the 
arrest and incarceration of Chris Diaz, 20, who faces felony charges 
for having medical marijuana and hashish in his possession. He 
remains jailed on bonds totaling $40,000.

Sam Moss, assistant district attorney in Brown County, said his 
office has received the case.

"It has been given to us, and we'll proceed with it and probably 
present it to a grand jury, would be my guess," Moss said.

Diaz was allegedly on his way to Austin when he was pulled over by 
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Martin Molotsky on Highway 
67 on June 27.

Molotsky pulled Diaz over after he noticed the 1990 Mercedes had 
expired registration, according to Senior Trooper Sparky Dean.

When asked for his license and insurance, Diaz told the trooper he 
did not have the documents.

The trooper then arrested Diaz on a charge of failure to identify. 
Diaz was searched, and a quantity of hashish -- a concentrated form 
of marijuana -- was found on him. During a search of the vehicle, 
less than two ounces of marijuana and some hashish were found. DPS 
reports confirmed that the marijuana and hashish were found in a 
prescription bottle.

Dean said the car was registered to a person in California who had no 
involvement in the case. Dean said a woman in Amarillo claiming to be 
Diaz's mom said she had bought the car in California but hadn't 
transferred the title in Texas.

An online organization called I Am Sovereign has claimed that Diaz's 
arrest was illegal because his marijuana was legal in California and 
because Diaz was being treated for asthma.

However, Dean said the bottle in which the marijuana was contained 
carried a notice from a California doctor warning against taking the 
marijuana to a state in which it was illegal. Texas does not 
recognize medical marijuana.

"The car had an expired registration," Dean said. "That could have 
been a citation and sent him (Diaz) down the road. He had no license 
or proof of insurance. Again, that could have been a citation. He had 
two ounces of marijuana, and that could have been a citation. But he 
had a controlled substance and he wouldn't identify himself. Martin 
(Molotsky) had to arrest him."

Diaz's supporters, some of whom were in Brownwood last week, say Diaz 
is being held hostage at the Brown County Jail.

In an e-mail received by the Reporter-News on Monday from the Rev. 
Sean Gunn of the THC Ministry and the online I Am Sovereign movement, 
Gunn says "four clergy and a mom," have been denied access to see 
Diaz and that Brown County is "demanding $40,000 from the mother," 
for the release of her son.

Gunn said he attempted to visit Diaz to give him some organic apples 
last week because he is on a strict diet. But he said he was denied 
access because he did not produce identification.

Steve Haag, from the Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care, a group 
that supports legislation for the use of medical marijuana in Texas, 
said that Diaz has been using medical marijuana for the past three 
years to treat a "lifelong" condition.

Brown County Chief Deputy Bobby Duvall said it is unlikely Diaz will 
be released on bond.

"Who wants to make a $40,000 bond for a flight risk, who, with 
friends, refuses to identify," Duvall said.

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Scott Kirk contributed to this report.
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