Pubdate: Sun, 25 Jul 1999
Source: Auburn Journal
Copyright: 1999 Auburn Journal
Contact:  1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Author: Dena Erwin, Journal Staff Writer


Prosecutor Cites Small Number Of Plants Seized From Citrus Heights Couple

Charges against a medical marijuana user have been dropped by the Placer
County District Attorney's Office.

According to Deputy District Attorney Dave Tellman, Chris J. Miller will
not be prosecuted for possessing five plants and 12 seedlings found at his
Citrus Heights home in March.

"The small number of plants, his serious medical condition documented
through years of medical records and the absence of any indication that he
was selling all led up to our conclusion," Tellman said.

Miller, who said he became "100 percent disabled" through a series of
motorcycle and automobile accidents, obtained a physician's recommendation
in September, 1997, to use marijuana to ease chronic pain, arthritis and
muscle spasms.

After several cannabis clubs that he was a member of closed down, Miller
said he had little choice but to grow his own marijuana as allowed by
Proposition 215, California's Compassionate Use law approved by voters in

"We followed the guidelines really close," Miller said. "We tried to comply."

Tellman said Miller established an affirmative defense under Prop. 215 and
the charges were dropped because "we couldn't convince a jury beyond a
reasonable doubt."

Miller said his medical recommendation, as well as his sister's, were on
display in an outdoor shed where five plants, each about 2- to 3-feet tall,
and 12 clones, or seedlings, were found during the service of a search
warrant by the Placer County sheriff's Marijuana Eradication Team.

Tellman said misdemeanor charges are still pending against Miller's wife,
Penny, who did not possess the required physician's recommendation.

But Miller said his wife did have a caretaker recommendation, allowing her
to have marijuana in her home.

"She didn't use (marijuana) because she didn't have any medical problems,"
he said.

Miller, who is anxiously awaiting the return of his growing equipment, said
he is "strongly considering" suing the county for wrongful arrest, in part
because the incident was "very upsetting" to his entire family, including
his 10-year-old daughter who witnessed the raid.

The DA's decision comes on the eve of the trial of Steve and Michele Kubby,
former county residents arrested in January on marijuana cultivation and
sales charges. The trial could be the highest profile test of Prop. 215 yet.

Steve Kubby ran unsuccessfully for governor last year on the Libertarian
ticket and openly espoused the use of medicinal marijuana. He and his wife
were arrested at their Olympic Valley home after members of the North Tahoe
Task Force served a search warrant Jan. 19 and found 265 growing marijuana

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