Muncie couple arrested for growing 'medical' marijuana

October 25, 2007

David MacAnally, WTHR Eyewitness New (IN)

Owners of a Muncie beer and wine making shop are in jail for growing pot and drug possession. They reportedly admit it's pot, but deny it's wrong. But their defense may not play in an Indiana courtroom.

Their mug shots look nothing like the shots on their web site. The site promotes their company, Wine-N-Vine, selling home brew, wine making gear, plant grow lights and hydroponics equipment. Their slogan: Homebrew and home grown. Do it yourself and enjoy it yourself. Don't tell anyone.

But someone told the Indiana State Police something. Troopers began investigating Jeffrey and Bonnie Johnson's Muncie business and their Henry County home where police say they found 100 pounds of pot, 23 plants and a marijuana growing operation.

The couple reportedly used the pot for medical reasons. And say they'll take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if they have to. We asked them on the phone if they think they would prevail.

"Our lawyer has advised us not to make any comments until the court case is over I have no further comment that's all I have to say for right now, I'm sorry," Bonnie told Eyewitness News via phone.

But the Muncie Star Press reports the Johnson's claimed they used the pot to treat Bonnie's chronic pain from brain trauma. And had a 2003 prescription for it from a Florida doctor.

A prescription they reportedly showed State Police as they served their search warrants. But medical marijuana is not legal in Indiana.

We asked a neighbor of the Johnson's store what they thought. He said "I feel if it is medical, I understand."

Marie, a wine store customer, who found the shop closed said "I approve of medical use of marijuana. I don't use it myself. They're persecuting innocent people. They're good, outstanding people."

But others not high on that idea. One neighbor told us "There's too many kids out here. Kids are going to have an excuse, 'I'm going to use it for legal stuff. Medical reasons.' That's not right."

A total of 12 states have removed criminal penalties in cases where people have a doctor's order to use medical marijuana. Indiana is not one of them.

Even if it were the Federal government could go after users. It doesn't recognize medical marijuana use laws.

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