Source: The Olympian Author: The Associated Press Pubdate: 29 Mar 1998 Contact: Medical marijuana patient is indicted SELLING: Agents find more than l00 pot plants and $53,000 when they raid the home of a man who used the drug for multiple sclerosis. SPOKANE - A man allowed by a judge to smoke marijuana to help alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis has been charged with growing large amounts of the drug and selling it. Samuel Dean Diana is one of five men named in a grand jury indictment returned in U.S. District Court last week. Agents who raided Diana's rural home outside Cheney found more than 100 marijuana plants and $53,000 in cash, authorities say. In 1981, a Spokane County judge gave Diana permission to use small amounts of marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a chronic disorder that can result in speech problems, loss of muscle coordination and other difficulties. Diana, who has been summoned to appear Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno, said he has smoked marijuana daily for 20 years for medical reasons. "It's the best drug on the market for MS," Diana said Friday. It's just that you can't legally buy it anywhere. There aren't any government stores." Federal, state and county drug agents who raided Diana's home found pot plants ranging from seedlings to mature plants, and others that were being dried. "The indictment speaks for itself, and it charges, among other things, a conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and distribution of marijuana," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington said. Diana is accused in the five count indictment of maintaining a place for manufacturing, storing, distributing and using a controlled substance. He also is charged with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, manufacturing more than 100 pot plants, possessing with intent to distribute more than 100 pot plants and distribution of marijuana. Others named in the indictment are Benjamin Luke Francis, Henry Joseph Chiappetta, Guy Gordon Gardener and Larry Fay Spink. Their ages and hometowns weren't available. All four are charged with conspiracy and manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants. Francis also is charged with possession and distribution of marijuana. Tim Trageser, a lawyer representing Chiappetta, said he "anticipates some of the people involved may be raising the medical-necessity defense." Diana's lawyer, Phillip "Dutch" Wetzel of Spokane, said he couldn't comment.