California Man Demands Police Pay For His Marijuana


Photo: Emeraldeye
Eight grand a pound adds up.

​A California man is asking the city of Costa Mesa to pay for 12 medical marijuana plants seized by the police in 2007.

An attached appraisal form with the claim says that “Kush” strain plants like those seized are worth about $8,000 a pound.
Gregory Barnett, 55, said in his claim against the city that police officers destroyed his crop, which was ordered returned by the court, reports Ellyn Pak at The Orange County Register.

“I’m sorry, I’m unable to comment on that matter,” Barnett said last week. “It’s under litigation at the moment.”

Pay up, copper.

​The city has refused the claim, filed Nov. 17, saying it was submitted after a six-month deadline within which residents must file claims after an incident occurs. The claimant has one year to file if “real property” is involved.
Police seized the marijuana plants, which were growing in Barnett’s back yard, in August 2007. They also confiscated freezer bags containing 155.5 grams of marijuana, according to court documents.
Also seized were a shotgun and a variety of illegal fireworks, court records indicate.
Barnett was arrested and charged with possessing marijuana for sale, cultivating and processing marijuana, and “possessing dangerous fireworks.”
Barnett told the cops at the time of his arrest that he suffered from medical issues resulting from a spider bite in 2003, and also dealt with a lumbar disc injury. He said he began using marijuana that year, but had started growing it in 2002 for his wife.
The plants in his yard at the time of his arrest were for himself and a friend, also a medical marijuana patient, according to court records.
Both Barnett and his friend had doctors’ recommendations to use medical marijuana, and both had obtained state ID cards in January 2008 allowing them to grow and possess the herb, court documents show.
Around that time, Barnett filed a wrongful arrest claim and alleged “infliction of physical and emotional pain” following his cultivation arrest. The city rejected the claim.
The charges against Barnett were dismissed in October 2008; a judge ordered the return of his property in July 2009.
A 2009 directive from California Attorney General Jerry Brown tells law enforcement officers they cannot take cannabis from medical marijuana patients in the first place, and are not allowed to charge them with a crime if they are carrying less than eight ounces.