Penticton and South Okanagan
A little pot for a lot of pain
Oct 23, 2013 / 1:30 pm
When Wayne Parker fell and broke his leg and hip last year, friends suggested he grow medicinal marijuana to ease the pain.
So the 66-year-old Cawston resident threw a few seeds in his vegetable garden last September and left it at that.
A year later, he had five foot tall plants growing amidst his corn in his front yard garden plot. He harvested them, and a few days later the RCMP showed up.
"I was completely astonished, because I only had a small amount of plants, and I couldn't believe they were going to such great lengths," he said.
Parker, who has 24 pins and two plates in his right leg and two pins in his right hip, after falling off a motorcycle parked in his backyard, relied on pain killers immediately after his accident.
But they weren't doing enough to ease his pain and stress.
He claims he only grew six plants, recently harvesting them when the first frost came.
The plants were hanging in his autobody shop when the police arrived on Sept. 30. Parker was handcuffed and placed in a police car, while they searched the house.
"I let them in and took them straight to the marijuana. Then I sat in the car for an hour and a half while they searched the house," he said. "When I was released, they didn't give me a reason, I was just busted."
According to Keremeos RCMP Cst. Pamela Scheidl, a concerned citizen reported that Parker was growing marijuana in his front yard in late September.
The resident was upset because Parker's house is near an elementary school, store and the post office.
Police officers went to have a look and spotted the tall plants. A warrant was requested and granted and the police went in and seized the plants.
Parker is charged with possession and production of marijuana, but Crown has not yet confirmed if the charges are approved, she said.
If Crown approves the charges, he will go to court on Dec. 11. If they don't, the RCMP will alert him and he won't go to court.
While Parker claims he grew six plants, Scheidl says they found 10 on his property.
"It's pretty brazen to grow marijuana in your front yard, and very distressing to neighbours, especially if they have children going to school," she said. " I understand if he's in pain that he might need this, but he should go through the proper channels."
Meanwhile, Parker is worried about his court appearance and that he could lose his passport because of this.
"I hope they just throw it out of court and tell me I was a bad boy," he said. "I'm just a retiree trying to live free of pain."
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