Georgia Man Busted for Growing Pot: “I’m not a drug dealer. I’m a sick old man.”By Scott Gacek | The Daily Chronic March 14, 2012
"You can look at my hands. You can look at my ankles. You can look at my knees. I am riddled with a horrible disease that's killing me."
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA — Medical marijuana is not yet legal in Georgia, but that little technicality didn’t stop 52 year-old Kevin Sheehan from growing marijuana to help relieve the pain he has felt from rheumatoid arthritis for the past decade. Unfortunately for Sheehan, local police see things differently, and on Tuesday seized 36 plants from his home and placed him under arrest.
Police have charged Sheehan with possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, a felony charge with a possible ten year sentence if convicted. They claim that the 36 plants have a street value of $489,000, and the local newspaper is painting Sheehan as a drug dealer with a “marijuana laboratory” in his bedroom.
“I’m not a criminal. I’m not a drug dealer. I’m a sick old man,” Sheehan told WSB-TV after his arrest, while calling for medical marijuana to be legal in Georgia. “You can look at my hands. You can look at my ankles. You can look at my knees. I am riddled with a horrible disease that’s killing me.”
Police say they received a tip last week about an alleged “drug operation” at Sheehan’s home. Gwinnett police went to Sheehan’s home Tuesday intending to conduct a “knock and talk” investigation, and claim that when Sheehan opened the door, they noticed an “overwhelming odor of marijuana” inside the home and asked to enter. Sheehan allegedly consented.
Inside, police allegedly found 36 mature plants, lamps, timers, and 148 grams of usable marijuana, a little over 5 ounces.
Although police did not have a search warrant for the home, a police spokesperson said “”The officers very easily could have obtained a warrant at that point.”
by Scott Gacek
A long time marijuana reform activist from Boston, Scott Gacek served on the Board of Directors of MassCann, the Massachusetts state NORML chapter, from 2009-2011. In July 2013, Scott assumed the role of Editor in Chief of The Daily Chronic.