Maine Police Return Stolen Marijuana To Caregiver


Mario Moretto/Bangor Daily News
Thomas Davis, a licensed medical marijuana grower and caregiver, inspects his only remaining plant after his crop was burglarized Wednesday night. Police eventually recovered the stolen marijuana, and three days later returned it to Davis, who estimates about 85 percent of the crop was ruined by mold after it was stolen

The police brought an estimated $12,800 worth of marijuana to Thomas Davis of Ellsworth, Maine, last week.

While very few of us have had the opportunity to avail ourselves of such an exclusive delivery service, licensed medical marijuana patient and caregiver Davis got the plants back because he had reported them stolen, reports Ron Recinto at The Sideshow. The plants were stolen from a greenhouse near Davis’s home.
Ellsworth Police arrested Aaron Pert, 32, of Trenton, Maine, and charged him with burglary, theft, firearms possession, and marijuana possession after he admitted to the crime. Pert was caught when a car he was in got pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign. He was released from jail Friday morning on a $500 unsecured bail.

Hancock County Jail
Aaron Pert, 32, was charged with burglary, theft, firearms possession, and marijuana possession

Pert proved quite talkative, eventually telling the cops where he’d stashed the freshly harvested plants. Police recovered the cannabis after learning its location, reports Mario Moretto at the Bangor Daily News.

The cops then wrestled with the question of whether to destroy the marijuana — which they would normally do with “illegal drugs” — or return it to Davis, since he’s a licensed medical marijuana caregiver (grower) under Maine state law.
The police claimed they were worried about violating federal law if officers returned the medical marijuana, since cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
“This is new,” Ellsworth police Lt. Harold Page said. “No one’s dealt with this before.” According to Page, this may be the first reported burglary of medical marijuana in Maine.
But Ellsworth Police Chief John DeLeo said on Monday that it was perfectly legal to return the pot plants to Davis.
There’s not an entirely happy ending. Davis said that despite the return of his plants, about 85 percent of the recovered crop is now damaged by mold.
The theft will set him back for months, Davis said, and he fears his patients may have to get their marijuana elsewhere. “My patients may end up turning to a dispensary or another caregiver,” he said.
Davis said he hopes that his reporting of the burglary will set a precedent in which police will view medical marijuana the same way other stolen medicines are investigated.