Jacob Pressley and Jennifer Carpenter of Durham, North Carolina, were arrested Feb. 8 after Raleigh and Durham police raided their suburban home north of Interstate 40 and found "several" marijuana plants, according to the Herald-Sun. Police also found their child asleep in the house.
Apparently, having a few harmless plants makes you a drug kingpin in North Carolina. Or at least, that seems to be the case as the prosecutors are throwing the book at these two for what is completely legal in other states. While the story is vague, it does say that they were arrested for possession of "more than six pounds". It wouldn't surprise us one bit to learn that was the total weight of the living plants, soil and all. The cops also tacked on a negligent child abuse charge for good measure.
The two were later charged with felony possession, "maintaining a dwelling to manufacture, keep or sell a controlled substance", manufacturing, possession with intent to sell and deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, "simple possession" and child abuse. Both Pressley, who is a Forest Ranger, and Carpenter have a $10,000 bond.
Here's hoping for the best, though they are in a tough state for that. Possession of over an ounce and half is a felony charge with three to eight months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Tack on the distribution felony and you've got another three to eight months and $1,000 fine. Cultivation is another felony, with three to eight months and (you guessed it) another $1,000. Paraphernalia could add on another month or so and $1,000 more in fines. And if the judge wants to be a real dick, they could also face charges of involving a minor, which carry up to seven years in jail. Worst of all, their house and property could be seized by the state to never be returned.
Nobody deserves that for growing a harmless plant. And a kid doesn't need to grow up without his or her parents because of this either.
As one commenter, Bambi Harris, wrote on the Herald-Sun page:
"I know these people and this is such bull- the child was sleeping and was not exposed to anything. When is this country going to wake the heck up and realize the health benefits of marijuana- pain control alone needs to be addressed by the powers that be," she wrote. "Why were the cops at their house at 10 pm instead of stopping DUIs, home invasion crimes and the real bad stuff happening in the counties involved? Free Jake and Jen- just let it go!!!!! These people are not criminals in any way shape or form!!!"