Testimony shines light on medical marijuana battle

June 27th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »
June 27, 2011

A former Atascadero resident testified Thursday that large marijuana growers hide behind the cover of medical marijuana while growing hundreds of pounds of illegal weed to sell for big bucks on the black market. [NECN]

“Everybody’s in this for money. Don’t let anybody fool you,” Thomas Bletko, 51, testified in Josephine County Circuit Court in Oregon. “It’s all done under the guise of being medical.”

Bletko and Brenda Thomas, the manager of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation clinic in Grants Pass, were licensed to produce 19.5 pounds of marijuana. Oregon State Police arrested Thomas and Bletko after they seized 200 pounds of pot valued at about $500,000 from Thomas’ farm in Grants Pass, Oregon.

“You don’t grow half a million dollars worth of pot for medical patients,” Bletko said.

Bletko turned state’s evidence in exchange for no jail time and 18 months of non-supervised probation for testifying against Thomas. The foundation, headed by longtime Portland marijuana activist Paul Stanford, has clinics in nine states, where doctors examine patients looking for state authorization to use pot to treat medical conditions, NECN reported.

Under Oregon’s medical marijuana law, patients can have someone else grow pot for them, but growers cannot charge patients for the marijuana they produce. They can only collect for expenses, such as electricity and fertilizer, NECN said.

Prosecutors contend Bletko and Thomas planned to sell a small amount of the pot to the clinics. They said the remainder was to be

Article source: http://calcoastnews.com/2011/06/testimony-shines-light-on-medical-marijuana-battle/