Emeryville pays $15K to medical marijuana user

April 10, 2006

Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle

The city of Emeryville has paid $15,000 to a medical marijuana user who was busted for growing pot, settling a lawsuit that accused police of refusing to return his seized plants, some of which were stolen by thieves, authorities said today.

In December 2003, Emeryville police seized 30 full-grown marijuana plants and equipment that included grow lamps, air filters, timers and pumps, records show. Criminal charges were dropped against Blair, who uses marijuana to alleviate symptoms from a neck injury.

Emeryville officials said thieves broke into the city's Public Works storage building on Horton Street in January or February 2004, cutting off locks from cages and making off with $35,000 in evidence from a number of cases, including some of Blair's property.

James Blair of Emeryville had said he found it ironic that the same plants that had been taken away from him, a legal user of the drug, a year ago could have fallen into the wrong hands.



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