Marijuana patient disputes validity of search warrant

January 18th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A medical marijuana patient whose home was raided by drug agents last March claimed in Somerset County Superior Court on Tuesday that investigators ignored crucial information when they obtained a search warrant.

James P. Fowler, 45, of Pittsfield said his medical marijuana recommendation from his doctor is posted on his Facebook website in the same place as a photo of Fowler that is in his court file as evidence against him. The two pictures are part of a three-photo group in Fowler’s “wall photos” and appear to viewers of the site just inches apart. Time stamps indicate the photos were posted in February 2009, a month before the March 19 search of Fowler’s home.

Elsewhere on Fowler’s Facebook site are photos of marijuana plants growing in his home, which are what attracted law enforcement attention in the first place. A police officer in Florida, who shares a mutual friend with Fowler on Facebook, saw the photos and reported Fowler to the Pittsfield Police Department and Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, according to the defendant’s court-appointed attorney, John Martin of Skowhegan. Martin said during Tuesday’s court hearing that Somerset County sheriff’s Detective Mathew Cunningham used the photos as evidence to obtain a search warrant of Fowler’s property.

Assistant District Attorney Brent Davis argued that the mere presence of Fowler’s medical marijuana card on a website doesn’t prove that

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