Skip to comments.Lakeview man gets 10 years for almost 7,500 pot plants
Posted on 12/16/2008 10:36:28 PM PST by MovementConservative
A jury sentenced a Lakeview man to 10 years in prison for growing nearly 7,500 marijuana plants.
Andrew Stever, 40, was sentenced on Monday after a three-day trial in the Federal District Court in Medford.Ten years is the mandatory minimum sentence for anyone convicted of growing 1,000 or more pot plants.
In July 2007, officers from several local, state and federal agencies found 7,459 plants growing on Stever's Lakeview property, which bordered Forest Service land. Two men fled the scene, leaving behind personal property and three firearms, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Portland. Physical evidence and testimony linked Stever to the operation, officials said.
"This was clearly the largest marijuana grow ever discovered in Lake County," said Mark Suba, a Forest Service official.
(insert joke about Obama’s smoking here)
That’s 2 days per plant!
He would have been better off killing someone. He would be out in 5.
I don’t have any problem with giving 10 years to a professional pot grower, but this gives me a bit of pause:
“which bordered Forest Service land.”
Given some past government excess, I’d need some strong evidence of his guilt. The government has been known to try to use questionable tactics to acquire land.
I guess it's a tad insane.
Imagine if Bush pardoned all pot offenses? Would he be your hero?
"Hero" is a bit much, but I would certainly be impressed as hell.
It’s a sad day in our free Republic when somebody can have ten years of their life taken by an overreaching federal government for growing plants. Sometimes I wonder what I’m defending. That’s like getting put away back when Clinton was being impeached and just getting out now, all for horticulture.
I'd be pleased. Prohibition of marijuana doesn't work and actually IMO makes people respect law less. Sell the stupid stuff in liquor stores and put the underground pot industry out of business. That would cut a lot of crime and help empty out some of our county jails. I'd rather have these silly pot heads going to work at the ski resort every day than sitting in jail sponging off the taxpayers. Just because I don't use something and have no intention to doesn't mean I need to tell everyone else they can't stupidly suck something besides oxygen into their lungs.
All for profit given the number of plants. Just because this guy got busted doesn't mean squat though. The money is there to be made someone else will do supply the goods. Why are we fighting pot? I'll buy the arguments against heroin and other classifications of controlled substances, but pot makes no sense.
That's gotta be the number one reason for , at least, decriminalizing marijuana.
I don’t buy it against any “controlled substance” at the federal level. It’s silly, it’s cost tons of money with no return in profit to society, it’s made a lot of bad guys rich because it’s underground - thus driving up prices, taxfree, and it’s just not my business what you - an adult - put into your body.
Hero? Not really, we should be 'exporting' our product- the result of our expertise. Just another commodity we could be exporting and taxing such that our treasury wouldn't be so dry.
Hemp as a fiber and the oil derived from it could add plenty to our farming economy at low cost. No reason a plant's useage need be limited to 'getting high'. In fact, that ought to be ancillary.
It’s absurd. Let people grow it in their gardens.
This nation has to go on a National De-Tox movement: those things that poison us as a society need to be purged before we can 'move forward' as so many politicians like to say.
Moving forward beats moving backward (I guess) 'cept when it comes to the vote (I used to have to produce an ID). Legalizing would wipe out Mexican drug cartels and the power they exert on the border (and places like Arizona).
Additionally, our prisons could house the real bad asses that were fortunate enough not to have been shot plying their trade amongst the sheep-like, unarmed populace. That too, could change under a detox regimen.
that’s a little over 2 days for each marijuana plant. sounds fair to me.
“No reason a plant’s useage need be limited to ‘getting high’. In fact, that ought to be ancillary.”
no kidding. huffing paint thinner and gasoline fumes is far down on the list of “utility” for both substances.
Wathced a doc on pot (got bored and turned) but they did say the pot folks smoke now a days is not the weak stuff Gramps smoked in the 60s.
But I agree putting pot heads/growers in jail is a waste of $$$$.
We had an arrest of two guys here on the coast for being out in a field picking the WILD ride mushrooms that grow all over.
My landscape guy showed my the type of mushroom that grows wild on our property.
Waiting for the Berry bushes to become illegal to pick in the fall.
Pot growing is a gateway plant to growing tobacco.
Please, think of the children.
“thats a little over 2 days for each marijuana plant. sounds fair to me.”
It sounds fair to me too.
But hey, if enforcing our laws causes people to be put in jail, then by all means let’s legalize everything.
Speeding is a victimless crime, right? Let’s repeal all speed laws. Let High School Harry drive 90 mph down your residential street. Don’t like it? Stay inside your house and you may be safe.
The prohibition against murder isn’t working, since people still murder other people. Legalize it! If you don’t want to get killed you’d better learn to protect yourself.
The war on illegal aliens can’t be won, so let’s open our borders. Abolish ICE and the Border Patrol. Think of all the money we’ll save. Whee! What’s next?
The war on drugs isn’t working. Legalize everything! Insert the image here of your 12 year old daughter injecting herself with heroin. Hey, nobody goes to prison, so it’s all okay, right?
Even HOLLAND is reversing their freewheeling drug policies. How long does it take for the message to sink in, folks?
We continue to have laws against marijuana because of all the money associated with it being illegal.
Look at all the forced counseling, parole officers, jail attendants not to mention lawyers that all make their living putting kids in jail and ruining those lives because they got caught with a little marijuana.
You know the Dems are up the rear of trial lawyers due to lawyers donations to the dems and the dems are not going to take away lawyers ability to make lots of money with regards to marijuana.
No, that is not the point.
Think of the billions we waste incarcerating and putting in the probation system kids and folks who smoke marijuana.
Don’t we have enough REAL problems to deal with instead of this crap?
Good lucid post
On the bright side, we now have room for one more mexican illegal!
Here in Florida we get all kinds of folks with these quotes and it drives us nuts, “that’s not how we do it up north”. or “everything is better in N.Y.”
Well I’m about fed up with stupids using the phrase ,”think of the children”. Hell with the children, think of everyone.
I’ve always wondered what happens when pot ends up on the endangered species list; and wouldn’t everyone be better off if mosquitos were outlawed instead of pot.
...I like yer tagline,,, OK, jokes, “I tried it, but I didn’t inhale.” Yyyer a moron , Bill. “I grew hemp for it’s value as a crop, at my home in Monticello, VA”. Thomas Jefferson, my kind of president...
Childless libs love to force you and invoke people/children they don’t even know.
1. straw man - The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a persons actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of reasoning has the following pattern:
Person A has position X.
Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
Person B attacks position Y.
Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.
2. red herring - A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to win an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of reasoning has the following form:
Topic A is under discussion.
Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
Topic A is abandoned.
This sort of reasoning is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim.
We do need laws to protect innocent people, but we can't make everything illegal. Your argument is that if we are going to legalize pot, why don't we just legalize everything else that is against the law. That works both ways. If we are going to make something with such a little risk of causing harm to innocent people illegal, why don't we make everything illegal if it presents any possible risk to innocent people or harms those who do it in any way?
I agree that drugs like cocaine and heroin and meth and so on should remain illegal. People who use super addictive drugs like this are putting innocent people at a risk to a much greater extent than someone who smokes a little weed. Those addicted to these substances are significant burdens on our communities. Most people who just smoke pot work and contribute to society. Hardly any are a burden on society just as a result their pot smoking. Most of the crime that results from marijuana use comes from the fact that it is illegal.
If pot wasn't used by so many people in this country I wouldn't see much point in legalizing it. Millions of people do it though. According to government statistics more than half of all American adults under 60 have tried it. The market for it is huge. Because so many do it, it is easy to find it just about anywhere in this country. If people aren't doing it, it's not because they can't find it. It's not because they can't afford it either, because it's really cheaper than beer on a per use basis in most cases.
Even being cheap though there are incredible amounts of money being made supplying it to all the people who do it. It's making organized crime rich. Mexican drug trafficking organizations supply half or more of of the marijuana Americans consume. The ONDCP estimates that Mexican drug trafficking organizations gross about $13.8 billion a year selling drugs to Americans, about $8.6 billion of that from marijuana sales alone. Marijuana is their cash cow. The next most profitable drug for them is cocaine but they are only grossing $3.9 billion from that compared to $8.6 billion for marijuana and they are just the middlemen for cocaine that they must import from Colombia or Peru or Bolivia before they can smuggle it into the U.S. They're actually producing the marijuana in Mexico and increasingly on our own soil, so they're making all the profits from it.
Marijuana is cheap and already about as easily available as it's going to get in this country. Most people who want to do smoke it are already smoking it. We are stopping precious few from doing it with the ban against it, but this ban is costing us a fortune in enforcement costs, costs of prisons and courts and so on, and it's causing all sorts of other problems. We aren't helping ourselves by giving so many people criminal records for marijuana offenses. We aren't helping ourselves by wasting so much jail and prison space on marijuana offenders. Our jails and prisons are packed. It takes months now in my area for a prison bed to open up for someone newly sentenced to prison and because the jails are so full most of these people will be given reporting bonds and be allowed back on the streets until a prison bed opens up. We could reduce that problem by legalizing and regulating marijuana. We'd also reduce tension and disrespect between large segments of our population and law enforcement and help create more respect for the law in general. And one big thing we would do is make take the lion's share of revenue away from these drug trafficking organizations and make it much harder for them to move their much more harmful drugs. Illegal drugs tend to go through the same channels. The existing distribution networks for marijuana are massive and reach every corner of America, so they make perfect conduits through which these drug trafficking organizations can move their other stuff. If we want to reduce the “gateway effect” and make the hard stuff harder to get, we'll legalize marijuana and regulate it similar to alcohol.
Pot should be legal and should be a common garden plant.
Hear Hear! Good post SGR. As one of those 50% below the age of 60 who has never smoked, I agree with what you wrote.
whoa, man, that’s like, 75,000 years total. Bogus!
This is a good example of the logical fallacy begging the question, where the proposition to be proved is assumed in one of the premises. The assumption is that I am arguing from one of two logical fallacies, and my only choices are A or B.
Isn't that happening already? Aren't we making more restrictive laws to reduce risk? Making a phone call while driving your car is illegal in some cities. Millions of people can talk on the phone while driving safely, but there is some small risk, so a law was made to reduce the risk. In many locations, you can't smoke in office buildings or bars or restaurants. Someone decided that second hand smoke caused harm to non-smokers, so they made a law to prevent the harm.
I agree that drugs like cocaine and heroin and meth and so on should remain illegal. People who use super addictive drugs like this are putting innocent people at a risk to a much greater extent than someone who smokes a little weed. Most people who just smoke pot work and contribute to society. Hardly any are a burden on society just as a result their pot smoking.
By your argument, some marijuana smokers are a burden on society. Shouldn't marijuana use remain illegal to keep those folks productive citizens? Also by your argument, some cocaine and heroin users are not burdens to society. Shouldn't cocaine and heroin be legalized to benefit the productive citizens who use it in the privacy of their own homes?
If pot wasn't used by so many people in this country I wouldn't see much point in legalizing it. Millions of people do it though.
The idea here seems to be that if many people break a law, then the law should be repealed. And I ask again - shouldn't this be applied across the board to all laws? Why is violation of marijuana law treated as a special case?
If people aren't doing it, it's not because they can't find it. It's not because they can't afford it either, because it's really cheaper than beer on a per use basis in most cases.
Maybe they're not doing it because they don't want to get caught, i.e., they don't want to break the law.
The Wikipedia article about marijuana contains the following illustration:
Which of these drugs would you legalize and which would you keep illegal?
I have selected just one of your arguments so as to keep this short.
The idea here seems to be that if many people break a law, then the law should be repealed. And I ask again - shouldn't this be applied across the board to all laws? Why is violation of marijuana law treated as a special case?
People do lose respect for the law in general if everyone around them is classified as a criminal. It tends to dilute the meaning. Are most marijuana users honest, hard working and productive citizens? Certainly that has to be true because of the high usage and still a highly productive US workforce.
Should all laws be treated as such? No, because most laws have some victim or potential victim... other motorists, individuals, the environment.
And we are going overboard with it.
“By your argument, some marijuana smokers are a burden on society. Shouldn't marijuana use remain illegal to keep those folks productive citizens?”
That makes no sense. These folks you are talking about are already smoking marijuana. I personally do not believe that there are many people out there who wont to smoke marijuana but won't just because it is illegal. Those few out there who don't smoke it now but would if it was made legal are people who have already shown that they have respect for our laws and possess at least some self control. They're less likely to be a problem for us if they start smoking marijuana than those who already do. Most people won't smoke marijuana though because there really are plenty of good reasons not to smoke it that have nothing to do with its legal status.
“Also by your argument, some cocaine and heroin users are not burdens to society. Shouldn't cocaine and heroin be legalized to benefit the productive citizens who use it in the privacy of their own homes?”
Drugs like heroin and cocaine are incredibly addictive, especially heroin. Cocaine is far more widely used than heroin, but most people who try either drug do it once or only a few times and then leave them alone, or they'll do them every once in a while for a period of a few years before they grow out of that phase of their lives. These people really aren't that much of a problem for us. The big problem for us are those who do become addicted, and a fairly significant number of the people who fool around with these things do become addicted.
Just because not everyone who tries these drugs becomes a burden on society should we legalize them? Hell no. These drugs are too addictive and too prone to causing problems for innocent people. And, prohibition actually works to some extent with these drugs. One thing it does do is keep these drugs expensive, which is a double edged sword, but it does reduce availability. People are a lot less likely to share their expensive cocaine with friends and acquaintances than they would their cheap pot. Those who want to buy these drugs are less likely to be able to afford to buy them, and those who do try them are not so likely to be able to do them often enough to become addicted as they would if these drugs could be had for a low price at a nice clean store.
The fact that so few actually do these drugs makes them much less easily available in an environment where they are banned. Heroin for instance is practically unavailable in my area. Our local law enforcement rarely ever make a heroin busts. Many officers have never made a heroin bust and many criminal defense lawyers have never had a heroin case even if they've handled hundreds or more cases involvinmg other drugs. I've personally represented people in thousands of pounds worth of drug cases and the only heroin case I ever had was one were a couple of guys were caught passing through on the interstate on their way out East with a couple of pounds of it. I've had tons of possession and delivery cases involving all sorts of drugs but none involving heroin. If it was legalized, most people wouldn't mess with it because they don't want to be junkies, but a few would and before long we'd have a contingent of heroin addicts causing us lots of problem and cycling through our legal system over and over again. Why would we want that?
Drugs like cocaine and meth are a lot more available in my area but they still really easily available like something like alcohol. Relatively few people use these drugs. The sources for them are far more limited than the sources for marijuana. If people want to do these drugs odds are they're going to be dealing with scummy drug addict types likely to rip them off, people who are trouble that most folks would not want to deal with. They're also fairly expensive on a per use basis so people who use these drugs are much less likely to offer to just share these drugs with others like they would their cheap pot. The ban on these drugs does actually make them somewhat harder to get than they would be if they were legal.
Marijuana is different though. Lots of people use it. Especially if you are young you are likely to know all sorts of people who use it who you could ask to help you find some. People often share their marijuana too. It's no big deal to break out a couple of bucks worth of pot and smoke it with everybody in the room. They're much less likely to do that with fifty or a hundred dollars worth of coke or whatever. Marijuana is already cheap, and it is already easy to get, especially if you are young. A higher percentage of young people use it than older people, and the more people you know who smoke pot the easier it is for you to get some. The ban isn't making it particularly expensive on a per use basis, and it isn't making it hard to get. If people want pot, most would find it easy to come by and they will probably be able to get it at a price where it will be cheaper to get a buzz from it than it would be to get a buzz from beer.
“The idea here seems to be that if many people break a law, then the law should be repealed. And I ask again - shouldn't this be applied across the board to all laws?”
That's not really the idea, that if lots of people break a law we should repeal it. There are a lot of laws that are worth having, even if lots of people break them. Lots of people steal, but we shouldn't get rid of our laws against theft. We have a compelling interest in stopping thefts. We probably are stopping a lot of thefts with our laws because a theft is something someone is far more likely to get caught doing than a “pot smoking.” People know that. They know that if they steal there is a fairly good chance they'll get caught and that has to deter a lot from stealing. The chance of getting caught smoking pot is far less than the chance of getting caught stealing, especially if the pot smoker will just be a little careful. People know that too. Most know that if they don't do stupid things likely to get them caught they probably never will get caught smoking pot. The level of deterrence from the laws against marijuana is never going to be anywhere close to the level of deterrence for laws against criminal conduct with a much higher likelihood of getting caught. That's another area where the laws are more effective for drugs like meth because while people know that most people will never be caught with pot if they are just a little careful, they see that tweakers and cokeheads are always getting busted. The punishments are more sever and the chance of getting caught seems to be a lot higher so the laws against these other drugs are naturally going to have a lot more deterrent effect than the laws against marijuana.
“Maybe they're not doing it because they don't want to get caught, i.e., they don't want to break the law.”
I thin you are right about that to some degree. There are people out there who just don't want to break a law. But, most people don't think of this as much of a violation of the law. Especially younger folks will look at it more like doing something like driving a few miles over the speed limit on a long stretch of straight road out in the country when no one is around. It's viewed as no big deal, and a lot of folks will do it I think just because they are told they can't. A lot of people really don't like that the government will tell them that they can't smoke a little pot. They aren't bothering anyone or even putting anyone at any risk in most cases.
“Which of these drugs would you legalize and which would you keep illegal?”
Every last one of them that isn't currently legal except for marijuana. There maybe some other drugs out there that aren't all that harmful or addictive or prone to causing many problems in society, but hardly anyone does them. The market for them is tiny. Organized crime isn't getting rich selling them like they are with marijuana. These drugs aren't easy to find all the time in most cases. The ban on them isn't causing us a lot of harm. There really isn't much point in legalizing them. It would only increase availability and use of these substances. I'd fight against legalization of any currently illegal drug except for marijuana.
And that chart is b.s. It's got solvents causing less physical harm than benzodiazapines or barbiturates. That's hogwash. Ever deal with many huffers? That stuff wrecks their brains and their bodies and much of the damage caused is permanent. Of course the paint and solvents and gas and whatnot that they use are all legal substances but hardly anyone uses them to get high.
Huffing is probably the worst way possible to get high. Your body is made up of carbon compounds, organic solvents love to dissolve them, that’s just the chemical damage(I’m a Chemist).
It’s horrible and some people do seem to get addicted to it. They can’t seem to quit. I’ve dealt with a lot of these people in court. Some we’ll see again and again on huffing charges and clearly their brains are fried. They’re out of it. When they are on the stuff they are insane. When they aren’t on it they’re still not altogether there. Some of them end up doing too much in one sitting and it kills them. I don’t know that any drug has such a negative effect on people.