Nevada County judge tosses cultivation charge against medical marijuana advocate
March 17, 2015
A Nevada County judge has dismissed a criminal cultivation charge against medical marijuana advocate Brad Peceimer-Glasse.
The Alta Sierra resident still faces a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest, however.
"I'm glad the truth has come out, that there was no criminal activity," Peceimer-Glasse said. "I look forward to defending my right to ask for a warrant."
Nevada County Sheriff's narcotics detectives had served warrants at his home on Brewer Road and a property he co-owns on the San Juan Ridge, on Sept. 10, 2014.
At a preliminary hearing into the evidence, Sgt. Guy Selleck calculated a potential yield of 821 pounds for the plants found at both properties. Patricia Smith — the founder of Americans for Safe Access-Nevada County and the executive director of Grassroots Solutions, a medical marijuana collective — testified that Peceimer-Glasse was a cultivator member of her collective.
Det. Mark Hollitz, who led the team that searched the residence, testified that Peceimer-Glasse said he wanted to see the search warrant before he let the deputies inside, and became "belligerent," repeatedly attempting to go back inside to get a camera phone. Hollitz and another deputy eventually took Peceimer-Glasse to the ground and handcuffed him.
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Defense attorney Stephen Munkelt subsequently filed the motion to dismiss the cultivation charge, arguing that there was no evidence of criminal cultivation and the fact that recommendations were posted at both grow sites is not evidence of a crime.
Deputy District Oliver Pong, however, had argued that the testimony showed there was marijuana that was unaccounted for, and that the double postings were proof of that. He argued that he did not have to prove that a profit was being made, just that Peceimer-Glasse was growing more marijuana than he was allowed. Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger had taken the matter under submission, and issued her ruling Monday.
"We're very gratified and we think the judge made the correct decision, based on the evidence presented regarding Brad's long-standing participation in medical collective activities," Munkelt said. "We're happy he is no longer facing felony charges."
Sheriff Keith Royal, however, expressed disappointment, saying he sees an issue with smaller growers "hiding behind" medical recommendations justify their commercial operations.
"It makes it difficult for the District Attorney's office to prosecute them," he said. "But it won't stop our endeavors to stop illegal grows."
Peceimer-Glasse is scheduled to return to court on April 6.
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