Police Mistake Daisies For Pot
Oopsy daisy Tuesday, 02 October 2012
Test confirms plants seized from northside home
were not marijuana
He doesn't blame police for thinking his daisies were pot, but he doesn't understand how they made that mistake.
Ryan Thomas Rockman said he's relieved but not surprised that Lethbridge police dropped one criminal charge against him after they found out that the plants they seized from his backyard garden three months ago weren't actually marijuana. Back in July, Lethbridge police accused Rockman of harbouring the biggest outdoor marijuana grow operation in the city's history, even though Rockman has repeatedly insisted all 1,624 plants seized were only Montauk daisies - a fall-blooming shrubby perennial that he's been growing for 10 years in his yard in the 900 block of 13 Street North.
"It made me look like a villain and it made them look silly," Rockman said Monday afternoon, explaining police had let him know earlier in the day that they would be dropping one of five charges against him.
"Everybody makes mistakes. I still scratch my head over how," he said. "It baffles me, to be honest. At the same time, I don't want to try to point the finger of blame at them either because they're still just trying to do their mandate and make it home every day," he added. Rockman also said he'd support relaxed laws on marijuana use so that police could spend their time on what he sees as more serious crime in the community.
"I just hate that the whole situation happened and I wish that it didn't happen and there's nothing I can really do to change that at this point. I don't really wish to fling mud at them either," he said of police. "They're in a situation every day in their job where they could potentially be risking their life or dealing with situations that other people don't want to deal with," he added. "The police do an important job in our community. Everybody is human."
Samples of the plants police had sent to a lab in B.C. tested negative for marijuana, so police have dropped the most serious charge against Rockman: producing a controlled substance, although the 41-year-old still faces charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled substance, and possessing proceeds of crime in relation to 697 grams of dried marijuana, 6.3 grams of cannabis resin and some cash that police also allegedly seized during the investigation.
Rockman's lawyer, Art Larson, said he expected the dropped charge to help his client's case, but added Rockman's reputation was tarnished from the moment police put out a news release on July 31 declaring the bust the largest outdoor marijuana grow-op Lethbridge had ever seen. "I've never seen anything like this with such deliberate publicity," Larson said. "It's very disappointing that it was made such a big deal to the extent that his name gets blasted on the front page of the Lethbridge Herald with what turns out to be not marijuana."
The test results didn't confirm that the plants were daisies, only that they weren't drugs, said a spokesperson for the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), which investigated the case. "All we know at this time is that it's not marijuana," Jill Baird said. Because the remaining charges are still before Lethbridge Provincial Court, she declined to comment on whether the outcome of this case will change the way police investigate drug busts, but she said she's never heard of this kind of mix-up happening before. "I can't recall this happening in the past, at least not here at ALERT," she said.
On July 30, Lethbridge regional police knocked on Rockman's door to check on a court-imposed curfew for one of his relatives, who wasn't there. Instead, police found Rockman had, admittedly, been smoking marijuana, which led them to a search of his property, where they ripped out the plants. Brent Allen Oczko, 43, was also charged with one count of possession during the raid.
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Re: Police Mistake Daisies For Pot
He should have those police men who dug them up to replant them all.
Re: Police Mistake Daisies For Pot
Fucking moronic cops! This is the intelligence of our future protection! WE ARE ALL DEAD!