Thursday, July 25, 2002

Medical marijuana
defendants sue police

The suit contends the Big Isle
officers lacked probable cause

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> Three Kona residents have sued Kona police officers for false arrest, alleging that police did not have probable cause when they apprehended the medical marijuana users earlier this month.

Attorney Jack Schweigert filed the suit in Kona Circuit Court this week on behalf of Kealoha Wells and John and Rhonda Robison, who have state permits to use marijuana as medicine.

Police arrested the three July 8. Police are seen on a videotape of the arrest, made by Rhonda Robison, saying the medical supplies of the three must be "definitively separated" from each other.

State officials later said there is no legal requirement for separating medical marijuana supplies. Police then said Wells and the Robisons are under investigation for having more mature plants than allowed by law. The three were released without charges.

The lawsuit names as defendants officer Mark Farias, others identified only as John and Jane Does and "Doe Partnerships and Corporations" but does not name Hawaii County or the Police Department. The suit says the arrests were done "without probable cause" but does not give details.

In a separate matter, residents of Puna Beach Palisades subdivision on the other side of the island yesterday delivered a petition to county officials asking police to limit the use of helicopters for marijuana eradication. The 47 signers, about 90 percent of the residents in Palisades, objected to helicopters landing on a private lot last Thursday. The signers ask that if officers conduct a further "incursion" in the subdivision that it be done "on the ground."

Police Capt. James Day said, "We're going to continue doing what we're doing now."

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --