Following the West Boylston Police Department's seizure of marijuana and related items from a home over a year ago, last week, a Clinton District Court judge ordered the return of 17.55 ounces of the marijuana taken, in addition to other personal items also confiscated, including growing equipment, to their owners.
According to court documents, Officer Jay Dugan was notified by a U.S. postal inspector on Jan. 28, 2015 about a suspicious package. After it was found that the package likely contained illegal narcotics, the postal inspector posed as a mail carrier and a male resident at 174 Goodale St. accepted the package. A search warrant was then executed.
Items that were seized included five packages containing marijuana, four of which were from the delivered package, a black safe containing marijuana, two vacuum sealers and vacuum bags, marijuana roaches, marijuana-infused hard candies, hashish, glass smoking pipes, rolling papers, marijuana seeds, a marijuana grinder, four large grow lights, two blower vents, three temperature controllers, 33 large potted marijuana plants, a small grow light, a black tent lined with reflective silver, 94 small potted marijuana plants, a 55-gallon drum of water, an electric pump and small plastic hoses.
Also confiscated were a Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) medical marijuana patient identification card and an online DPH application for the male resident, and an online application for a female resident, in addition to a California compassionate health wellness counseling medical Cannabis card for the male resident.
The male resident said he had a prescription for marijuana, that he and his wife were allowed to possess 10 ounces of marijuana and that he also had licenses for his two children and a grandmother, according to an officer's formal report.
He said he had been running a marijuana dispensary in California for about a year with the required licenses and permits, and later returned to West Boylston, and said he wanted to open a dispensary in Massachusetts, to sell items, such as the infused hard candies, as medical products.
The postal inspector informed the male resident that it is illegal to ship marijuana through the U.S. Postal Service. The resident wouldn't say who sent him the package, but only identified him as a friend.
He was also told that he wasn't licensed as a marijuana dispensary and wasn't granted a hardship permit to manufacture and cultivate marijuana.
The resident was told he wasn't going to be arrested, but that he and his wife would be summonsed to court for possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, manufacturing and the cultivation of marijuana and possession of Hashish, according to the officer's report.
Charges against both defendants were later dismissed.
According to a motion to return his property from his attorney, John Madaio, dated Jan. 5, 2016, the resident said Clinton District Court entered a finding of suppression on Dec. 7, 2015.
On Feb. 22, 2016, Clinton District Court Judge Robert Gardner, ordered that 17.55 ounces of the marijuana taken during the search be returned, along with personal property - including grow equipment - by or before March 2.
Sergeant Anthony Papandrea said this was the first time as a police officer that he has "given marijuana to anyone."
Even though it is illegal in Massachusetts to possess more than one ounce of marijuana, according to the court's memorandum on the amended order for the return of property, dated Feb. 29, Gardner wrote that "In November 2012, the voters of the Commonwealth approved a new medical marijuana law, "An Act for the Humanitarian Medical use of Marijuana." Pursuant to the act and the regulations issued by the DPH on May 8, 2013, a qualifying patient is permitted to possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana necessary for the patient's personal medical use.
"By regulation, a 60-day supply of marijuana is 10 ounces. ... Accordingly, 10 ounces in the possession of a qualifying patient holding a certification for the use of medical marijuana is not contraband under Massachusetts law," he wrote.
The marijuana to be returned, Gardner wrote, consists of 10 ounces, five ounces, .05 ounces of hash, 2.5 ounces of oil, and seeds, which have "a negligible weight."Read More:http://www.telegram.com/article/20160304/NEWS/160309705