JOHNSON VALLEY - JoAnn Cates, who has 16 great-grandchildren, seems an unlikely candidate to be handcuffed and hauled off to jail for growing a marijuana crop in her backyard. But at the grand old age of 74 she and partner Richard McCabe find themselves charged with cultivating Marijuana, possession of Marijuana for sale and possession of a controlled substance and now face up to 3 years in prison, They had been quietly growing Marijuana for medicine for a decade as Richard is classed a 'caretaker' which means he can grow for other legal users and both have doctors notes to medicate themselves, JoAnn for arthritis and insomnia while McCabe medicates more often, but for diabetes, neck and back pain, and for symptoms associated with his cancer, (now in remission), the prosecutor accepts the couple have legitimate recommendations for personal use but was outraged that the couple had over 100 plants on their property (120 in various stages of growth) In California medical Marijuana users are allowed to grow 12 plants or possess 8 ounces of dried herb. Some was distributed to McCabe's patients, he said, although he declined to say how many people he grew for. (If McCabe grew for only himself his partner and six others he would need around 100 plants to keep all supplied, it isn't a 'huge' amount, and considering these plants were growing in a greenhouse with natural light obviously the couple would not be able to grow all year and would therefore need a stock of medicine).
San Bernardino and San Diego counties have appealed a court's ruling that the cards do not violate federal law, which bans marijuana for any reason.
Cates and McCabe said it is important for the county to issue ID cards so other medical marijuana patients won't be arrested like they were.
Lanny Swerdlow, director of the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project, is trying to drum up support and $10,000 to help pay for a lawyer for the couple.
Cates and McCabe's case is one of several Swerdlow cites in passionate diatribes about how the county is wronging medical-marijuana patients by refusing to issue ID cards.
More on this HERE at the San Bernardino Sun.