It’s been said that while marijuana doesn’t kill people, the war on marijuana does.
A 42-year-old man allegedly shot himself yesterday after a standoff with Ashville, Ohio police that stemmed from seven marijuana plants and a few jars of herb. News reports say that Timothy Sturgis stood with a gun to his head on the property of his 21-acre home in the woods of Ashville for about two hours before taking his own life as cops moved in. All of this thanks to about $25,000 in herb.
Cops, predictably, tried to shift their guilt and the blame.
“No one likes the violence. We wish it didn’t have to be that way,” David Posten, a special agent in charge of the state’s Marijuana Eradication and Clandestine Lab Unit told the Columbus Dispatch. “But when people say ‘Was this little bit of marijuana worth this man’s life?’ it frustrates me. This isn’t ever about marijuana. It’s about someone’s choices.”
Like, you know, the choices to send heavily-armed cops onto someone’s land for seven plants. That’s enough personal amounts and hardly worth justifying the cost of the operation or getting into an armed standoff with someone. After the raid, cops went through Sturgis’s home and say they found jars of cannabis as well as loaded guns and crossbows.
According to police, as they raided Sturgis’s land he popped out of the bushes with an AK-47 and pointed it at his own head. That started a nearly two-hour standoff as police say they tried to reach Sturgis’s family to help diffuse the situation with the clearly mentally unstable man. Cops later said that Sturgis was out of work and living alone in what was described as a run-down house in the woods. Around 8:15, Sturgis shot himself and ended his life, though police have not said what – if anything – triggered his actions.
The raid on Sturgis is part of a larger, federally-funded program that throws away about $500,000 of taxpayer money each year to fly around the state and look for pot grows. Despite the death, cops seemed happy with their haul.
“Not enough worth dying over,” Pickaway County Sheriff Robert Radcliff said. “It’s beyond me … why anybody would take their own life in a situation like this. It’s marijuana, yes, and it’s illegal in Ohio. That’s why we’re out here. But we’ve seen much bigger operations. It’s unfortunate.”
Check out more from this video courtesy of the Columbus Dispatch: