Big news, pot heads: move to Douglas County, Kansas, where your homegrown head-stash isn't such a big deal.
Last week, the Douglas County District Attorney's office handed a sentence of 12 months probation to 24-year-old pot grower impresario Rai Shed Abdu Yahia, who pleaded no contest to charges that he and his roommate, Alexander Abbas Faoud Farran, were growing 28 plants of the sticky-icky-icky in their residence in Baldwin City.
District Attorney Charles Branson said his office uses its discretion to throw the proverbial book at big time, big profit drug manufacturers with sophisticated set-ups -- not a couple of college kids who set up some soil, seedlings and lights in a closet and "hope everything works."
"When we typically look at folks trying to grow their own, we try to place those [cases] in a little different of a category," Branson said. "It's not what the legislators intended to have the full heavy ax fall on those people in those types of categories."
In September, acting from an informant's tip, police raided Yahia's
residence on Eisenhower Street and found the operation, including grow
lights and plants in various stages of maturity. Yahia and Farran were
subsequently charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a
non-person level four drug felony, and possession of marijuana, a class
A non-person misdemeanor.
Though any operation with more than five
plants could qualify for a much more severe cultivation charge,
District Attorney Branson opted not to go that route, saying there was
no evidence of marijuana sales -- at least not big enough to justify
devoting the state's resources to investigate and prosecute -- though
there was suspicion that the grower was supplying friends.
was officially sentenced to 12 months of probation and 13 months prison
time, but the state of Kansas' sentencing guidelines for someone with
his scant criminal history (on a scale of A to I, he was an H) for that
crime is probation, said Cheryl Wright, assistant district attorney.
the conditions of his probation, if Yahia pees dirty he could end up in
the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections, like for real. And
a 13 month jail sentence hangs over his head to make sure he's a good
Farran is seeking a diversion on similar charges in the
case. If granted, he'll have a chance to expunge any evidence of the
alleged crime from his record if he successfully completes his