Paralyzed man arrested for pot possession says he didn't break laws

November 01, 2006

, KGET TV 17

BAKERSFIELD - A tip lead Sheriff’s deputies to search a northwest Bakersfield home for drugs, said to be grown for medical marijuana shops.

The man who lives at the home said he grows marijuana but denies the allegations.

Carl Sterner said he spoke with law enforcement officials before he started to grow medical marijuana so that he would not break any laws, but police said Thursday he did just that.

“I didn’t want to do anything illegal,” Sterner said. “I want to know what rights are regarding medical marijuana.”

Sterner said he grows marijuana in his northwest Bakersfield yard, but police came and took it all away.

Sterner said the starter plants were just seeds, and he didn’t now about the meth that belonged to one of his roommates. Meanwhile, officials said the California Mutli-jurisdiction Meth Enforcement Team searched the home after a tip.

“They were told that we were running a drug lab out here, and I told her, ‘That’s the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. Come on in!’” Sterner said.

Deputies said they believe Sterner was growing the pot for medical marijuana shops, but he said it was only enough for his personal use. Sterner said buying at the store costs too much, and he needs the pot to live in peace.

“I’m paralyzed on my left leg. I have a lot of pain and I can’t sleep very good. It relaxes me,” said Sterner.

It’s said stores buy from local growers, but that practice is federally regulated. Two Bakersfield dispensaries said they would not say from where or from whom they got their pot.

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