An advocate for loosening medical marijuana restrictions in Nevada was arrested Saturday at her southwest valley home with her husband after police say they found a marijuana grow operation in the house where their 13-year-old son also lived.
Rhonda Shade and Lowel Shade, both 37, were charged with child endangerment, possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, trafficking in a controlled substance and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substance Act. Lowel Shade also was charged with possession of a firearm by an ex-felon. Rhonda Shade has denied selling marijuana.
Police served a search warrant Friday at the couple’s home on Valadez Street, near Wigwam Avenue and Cimarron Road. Investigators said they found 90 marijuana plants, a “significant amount” of ready for sale marijuana with an estimated street value of at least $300,000 and a handgun.
Rhonda Shade has been an outspoken advocate for the Compassionate Access in Nevada Act, which would amend state law to remove a requirement that Nevadans possess a registry identification card to smoke marijuana for medical purposes. Caregivers would also be able to grow and share marijuana with more than one patient under the proposal. Currently, someone can register to use medical marijuana, but can’t sell the drug or grow more than seven plants at a time.
Assemblyman Paul Aizley, D-Las Vegas, has worked with Rhonda Shade on the initiative. Aizley said late Monday he wasn’t aware of Shade’s arrest, but it wouldn’t deter him from working toward changes in the law.
“There’s an issue here and that’s what I’m looking at. People who are sick [and] will benefit from marijuana are not being allowed to get it in any reasonable ways that I know about,” Aizley said. “Rhonda’s problems I hope are not true, but are not really germane to me and what I’m doing.”
On the Facebook page for HEMMPNV.com, a website run by Rhonda Shade that promotes “standards and ethics for legal medical marijuana patient providers” and advocates for “the rights of legal medical marijuana patients,” she addressed the arrest: “Shortly after I returned home from Carson City for the weekend my house was raided by the narcotics departments. My garden and meds were taken. Neither I nor my husband sold marijuana. The firearm found was an antique 1800s colt black powder pistol,” she wrote. “I believe we have been targeted because of my efforts put forth to change our laws. I’m sorry if this hurts all the efforts I have put forth in making things right here.”
On the phone Monday night, Rhonda Shade said she wanted to speak to her attorney before commenting, but added, “There is a lot I would like to say and there’s more to the story than what the arrest seems. I do feel like I’ve been targeted.”
Rhonda Shade’s business, Medicated Janes, was raided last September when local and federal agents served several search warrants at Las Vegas medical marijuana consulting clinics, police said.
Police said the most recent case involving Shade remains under investigation.
The couple’s 13-year-old son was taken to Child Haven of Southern Nevada.
via : Las Vegas Sun
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