Medical marijuana case against police set for September

January 29, 2004

TIFFANY EDWARDS, West Hawaii Today

HILO - A May civil trial against police officers who seized three medical marijuana patients' plants more than one year ago has been postponed until September, the plaintiffs attorney said.

Honolulu attorney Jack Schweigert said Kealoha Wells has made a settlement offer with the county, while John and Rhonda Robison are expected to take their case to trial Sept. 6.

The County Council has Wells' case on its Feb. 4 agenda to discuss in executive session. Deputy Corporation Counsel Joe Kamelamela, who is defending the police officers, could not be reached Thursday to confirm councilmembers will decide on the settlement offer.

The Robisons and Wells were living together in July 2002 when police arrested them and seized 20 marijuana plants and 1.5 ounces of dried marijuana from their Kalaoa residence.

Police detained Wells and the Robison couple for eight hours July 8 before releasing them 'pending investigation' and, to date have not charged them with a crime. On July 16, 2002, police reportedly returned the dried marijuana to Wells and the couple.

John Robison, 38, and Wells, 31, are registered with the state Department of Public Safety Narcotics Enforcement Division to use medical marijuana to treat their acute lympho cytic leukemia. Rhonda Robison, 32, is registered to treat her Charco - Marie - Tooth (CMT) muscular dystrophy. In addition, Rhonda Robison in July 2002 was registered with Public Safety as a primary caregiver for Wells, allowing her to grow marijuana for Wells.

According to state law, a medical marijuana cardholder may have up to four immature plants and three mature plants, along with one ounce of usable marijuana per mature plant. A plant is considered mature when it has buds or flowers.

Police have maintained 11 of the 20 plants seized were mature and Wells and the Robisons should have only had three mature plants each. They also have said Wells and the couple should have put labels on the plants identifying which plants belonged to which medical marijuana patient.

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