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Medical marijuana card-holder’s possession arrest sparks outrage

Posted at 2:51 PM, Dec 11, 2019

GALLATIN, Mo. — A Trenton, Missouri, man arrested for possession of medical marijuana was released from jail on bond on Wednesday.

Jamie Wilson, 48, was arrested Nov. 1 by a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper in Daviess County for marijuana possession and child endangerment.

His attorneys, Joani Harshman and Aubrey Gann-Redmon, along with the cannabis activist community argue that his arrest was unlawful because he is a medical marijuana card-holder.

Amendment 2, Article XIV of a law Missouri voters passed in November 2018 is supposed to provide protections for card-holders.

This is the first time a legal card-holder has been arrested in the state since voters legalized medical marijuana in the state.

A group gathered to protest outside the courthouse before Wilson's hearing.

"We’re standing up today to a constitutional injustice by the Daviess County prosecutors, trying to get him out of jail and home for Christmas," said Tanya Roth, founder of Canna Moms KC.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper pulled Wilson over in Daviess County for cutting off a semi-truck. Wilson told the trooper he had marijuana and said he had a state-issued medical marijuana card.

The officer found about 8 ounces of marijuana in his truck, some of which was in a backpack on the floorboard on the same side of the truck where Wilson's four-year-old grandson sat.

The NITRO Drug Task Force had been following Wilson from Trenton to Independence, where they believe he bought the marijuana.

"The rules say that 30 days after July 4 that patient card holders are legally allowed to possess," said Wilson's attorney Joani Harshman.

This is the gray area. Dispensaries don't open until after the new year, however as a card-holder you are allowed to have up to 8 ounces of marijuana and even grow it. The state doesn't mandate where you're supposed to get it from.

"Jamie is in the right. He does have his card, he was within his limit, and with the right support, he’s going to be able to come home," said Crystal, Wilson's wife.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana program, said its interpretation is that card-holders are authorized to possess medical marijuana in a statement to 41 Action News:

"Article XIV established several protections for possession of medical marijuana, and it is the interpretation of DHSS that card holders are currently authorized to possess medical marijuana, but ultimately, the interpretation of how Article XIV protections apply during any given time period will be up to law enforcement and the courts.

“We do currently have a work group with representation from law enforcement agencies to address and work through these types of concerns as we continue to implement this program in Missouri."

"They [law enforcement] don’t seem to understand the rules and regulations that DHSS put out this year to protect the patients. They’ve ignored most of those regulations in regards to Jaime‘s case," Roth said.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol would not comment specifically on Wilson’s case, but said that troopers will follow the law.

If a card-holder is pulled over in Missouri while in possession of marijuana, MSHP Troop H Sgt. Jake Angle said the citizen should show law enforcement the medical marijuana card.

Judge Ryan Horsman will decide by Thursday whether Wilson will be allowed to use marijuana while out on bond.

Wilson initially got out on a $10,000 bond, but was put back in jail on a $75,000 bond after he failed a drug test. On Wednesday the judge reversed Wilson's bond to the original amount.

Wilson will be allowed contact with his grandson, but Wilson will have to wear a drug patch until Horsman decides if he can use marijuana.

Wilson is due back in court at 9 a.m. on Jan. 15.

41 Action News reached out to Daviess County Prosecutor Annie Gibson, who did not respond to requests for comment. Reporter Sarah Plake also reached out to the NITRO Drug Task Force for information about why troopers initially followed Wilson, but never heard back.