Pubdate: Thu, 02 Dec 2010
Source: Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH)
Copyright: 2010 Telegraph Publishing Company
Author: Andrew Wolfe, Staff Writer
Note: MAP archives articles exactly as published, except that our editors
may redact the names and addresses of accused persons who have not been
convicted of a crime, if those named are not otherwise public figures or


HOLLIS - As David Orde sees it, marijuana and it's legal status wasn't
really the point of what happened to him, but it is now.

Orde, 55, owner of Lull Farm, spent some $150,000 to fight felony
charges that resulted after police found more than a dozen marijuana
plants growing in pots on the deck of his home at [address redacted].

On Tuesday, the New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed Orde's
conviction, finding that police overstepped their authority and
violated Orde's constitutional right to privacy. The ruling clearly
came as a relief and vindication, and Orde said Wednesday it was worth
the fight.

The issue really wasn't the marijuana," Orde said. "From the word go
it was why did they walk around the house and go up on my deck.... It
was worth fighting for, I think."

Orde and his son Andrew were arrested on the felony marijuana-growing
charges July 29, 2008, after Hollis Police Officer Angel Corrado
discovered the plants while trying to serve Orde with a complaint for
failing to license his dog. No one answered at the door, so Corrado
walked across the lawn, through a gap in a lilac hedge and onto a side
deck, where he spotted 16 marijuana plants growing in pots.

Orde freely admitted the plants were his, and police subsequently got
a warrant and searched the house.

There was really no disputing the plants or their illicit status, but
Orde said the police "pawing through the house" left him feeling violated.

It felt like a real invasion from the word go. That's why I fought the
battle," Orde said. Orde said he doesn't think Corrado had any
business anywhere near his deck.

It's way out of course for the average person... Nobody has ever
knocked on those doors of my house (off the deck)," in the 30 years
he's lived there, Orde said. "Of course I feel violated for that happening."

In seeking the warrant, police cited a garden hose that was protruding
from the basement bulkhead. They didn't mention, Orde said, that the
hose was set up to drain water out of, not into, the basement.

Though Orde's son Andrew decided to negotiate a guilty plea to a
misdemeanor, Orde said the teen was innocent, and the equipment police
claimed was for growing marijuana actually had been used to keep his
son's boa constrictor, though his son no longer had the snake at the

The saddest part about this is my son, Andrew," Orde said. "It's been
shocking to me to see how the legal system works.... It was a reptile

As for Orde himself, he said he still finds it ridiculous that he or
anyone else can be arrested for possessing that particular plant.

I'm not going to hang my head that I like to relax at night," Orde
said. "I was facing jail time and a felony for smoking a little pot...
It's not right."

Orde has smoked marijuana occasionally for years, he said, but never
thought much about it until after his arrest. Since then, he said,
he's become an impassioned advocate for the legalization of both
marijuana and hemp.

This whole war on marijuana... When you study marijuana and you read
the facts, you realize that this whole war on marijuana is based on
nothing but lies and propaganda," Orde said. "It's probably the
biggest social injustice since slavery that we are arresting 1 million
people a year for a drug that has never killed anybody."

Orde said he believes that marijuana is harmless compared against
cocaine, heroin and some prescription drugs, and less socially
destructive than alcohol.

The more educated you are, the more you realize how insane this whole
thing is," Orde said.

The Lull Farm web site has a section titled, "cannabis corner," with
news on efforts to legalize marijuana and hemp cultivation, and the
farm stand sells hemp products. Orde said he is thinking about
organizing an annual hemp festival. The news and controversy around
his arrest hasn't effected business at the farm, so far as he can
tell, he said. While he may have lost some customers, he said, others
have been supportive.

If anything comes out of this in a positive way, I will be an advocate
for marijuana reform as long as I live," Orde said. "The anger is
gone. I have no anger anymore. It's going to turn into something
positive now."

- - Andrew Wolfe  
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D