Fletcher, North Carolina resident Todd Stimson was arrested earlier this month for growing and selling marijuana. The only thing is, Stimson says he’s done nothing illegal. He’s licensed by the state and has even been paying taxes on his plants since his operation began in 2011 despite North Carolina not having medical marijuana laws.
Stimson wasn’t hiding anything, he asserts. He openly paid for the tax stamps (which benefitted local police), he holds a Department of Revenue license for the art of healing and he was freely distributing gift bags to cancer patients not only with cannabis but also with medical cannabis information inside.
The 42-year-old contends that the July 11 raid of the Blue Ridge Medical Cannabis Research Corporation, which he runs out of his home, was completely unnecessary and illegal. Police say part of the investigation was following Stimson’s posts on an online website – presumably one about cannabis. They also say that they found evidence in his trashcans at his house.
He says he has explained what his business is about to state officials numerous times and he was still granted his licenses. He faces up to a decade in prison for possession with intent to sell, manufacturing a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and “maintaining a place for controlled substances.”
“So why does the state tell you, in a way, ‘Yeah, it’s OK,’ but then want to send me away for five to 10 years?” Stimson told the Black Mountain News last week. “That’s wrong, when I’ve been paying the state, I’ve been paying the federal government, I’ve been paying the county and the police. So that’s four different people I’ve been paying and helping out.”
But the state says that’s not the case. In fact, merely buying a marijuana tax stamp doesn’t make the activity legal they say. “You will still be in violation of the criminal statutes of North Carolina for possessing the drugs” even with a tax stamp, according to the state website.
This isn’t Stimson’s first brush with the law for cultivation. He was arrested in 2004 with 48 plants at his home and convicted of cultivation, possession with intent to deliver and sell and that same nebulous “maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance” charge.
Stimson is due in court August 2.