Feds raid man's house for marijuana

August 28, 2007

, KOB TV 4 (NM)

A drug task force on Tuesday raided the home of a man holding a state certificate allowing him to have and use marijuana.

The problem for 44-year-old Leonard French is that the certificate exempts him from state law, not federal law, and the raid was a federal operation staffed by DEA agents and local law enforcement.

Investigators say that French, who is wheel-chair bound and lost his legs about 20-years-ago, had six potent Marijuana plants.

French is licensed by the state to grow and smoke medical marijuana, but the investigators did not know that until after the raid.

The state recently announced it would let qualified patients grow their own marijuana, because health officials feared that they would be vulnerable to federal drug prosecution.

French said he smokes medical marijuana for chronic pain and muscle spasms. He says marijuana is better than taking valium because it has less severe side effects.

French says he worked with his doctor and the state to get a medical marijuana license, so he could smoke it and grow it, but now he says he doesn't know what to do for medicine.

"I'm kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place, it makes me feel like someone says here's your drivers license to drive, and the first time I left the drive way, they took my car away," said French. 

French has not been charged, but the press release sent out by investigators Tuesday says they still expect to file drug charges against French, even though he is licensed by the state to grow and smoke medical marijuana.

French says he let the officers into his home when they knocked on his door, believing he wasn't doing anything wrong.

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