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Op-Ed: Virginia judge gets 30 days for growing pot on his property

A marijuana leaf
James H. Allamong Jr. a substitute judge in Shenandoah Court in Virginia has been sentenced to thirty days in jail for growing marijuana on his property.
Woodstock - The prominent local attorney and substitute judge was sentenced after a plea bargain that reduced the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor. Allamong admitted to possessing marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Allamong was sentenced in a courtroom in Woodstock by judge Paul Sheridan who also fined Allamong $500, placed him on probation for two years, and ordered him to carry out 200 hours of community service. Allamong's troubles date back to a shed fire on his property.
Scott Proctor of the Shenandoah County Sheriff's office said:" "A large number" of marijuana plants were found growing on his property at 1817 Copp Road when firefighters responded to a fire at a nearby outbuilding there Monday afternoon...Firefighters on the scene reported that they noticed what appeared to be several marijuana plants next to the structure that was on fire."
Proctor claimed the street value of the marijuana was estimated to be more than $150,000.
However Allamong claims that the marijuana was for his personal use. Allamong says he smokes marijuana because of pain he has from injuries dating back to the Vietnam war. He said:"That's the only reason I had the stuff. Obviously, I wish I had an opportunity to go another way, where you can get medicinal marijuana in Virginia, but that's not an option. I was wounded in Vietnam from a severe concussion blast and had severe joint and hip problems that just are debilitating."
After the shed fire Allamong consented to a search of his property. A large number of plants and a small amount of processed marijuana was found. Given the large amount of marijuana Allamong was charged with possession with intent to manufacture and distribute marijuana. Maybe he just needed a lot of marijuana for a lot of pain!

7 comments

#1Sep 11, 2012 Larry Clifton
Romney is smart to stay out of doper activism. The pot smokers are going to vote Obama anyway, but people who believe there are too many sedatives and tranquilizers and joints and pills already out there will vote Romney. Net Romney gain. Those who aren't interested in pot one way or another are the large majority.
#2Sep 11, 2012 Chris O'Hara
larry just wondering where you got that from? you might want to do some fact checking........start here pewresearch center april 1 2010
With a growing number of states moving to legalize medical marijuana, nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say they favor their state allowing the sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes if it is prescribed by a doctor, while 23% are opposed. Support for legalizing medical marijuana spans all major political and demographic groups, and is equally high in states that have and have not already passed laws on this issue
larry he's not staying out of doper activism when 73% support this doper activism he's not touching any close to controversial and lose moderate and independent votes.....
another thing larry that large majority you posted, it doesnt exsit half of americans favor full legalization. 50%-46% its really not doper activism its really just common sense....
http://www.gallup.com/poll/150149/Record-High-Americans-Favor-Legalizing-Marijuana.aspx
the pew research center and gallop polls are very respected polling companies
#3Sep 11, 2012 johnny smith
Don't bother Chris lost cause. He's trying to say the majority of the US doesn't care about drugs so why are seniors so upset they cant afford them? No wonder 70% of people are looking to legalize its cheap and it works and it doesn't kill you so whats wrong with that.If you think there isn't a large amount of Americans abusing pain killers the amount of fatalities is now higher than traffic deaths for over doses peace
#4Sep 11, 2012 Alexander Baron
You can walk into your local supermarket and buy poison - drain cleaner, etc - but not something a lot less toxic. That's the law.
#5Sep 12, 2012 Roger Dionne
Just legalise it already and let the cops go after crack, heroin and cocain which are obviously harmful drugs.
#6Sep 12, 2012 Kenan BartaN
I am not against the growing and using of MJ... What does bother me however is if any regular citizen had been caught for this the excuse of "For personal use" would not count. Also this guy is a JUDGE... His job is to use the law and then sentence individuals into the prison system or release them based on the facts etc... 30 days is a little weak considering the amount being grown and the job this guy possesses. I am sure part of his swearing in process included the avoidance of illegal activities and substances.
#7Sep 12, 2012 Roger Dionne
I see it as indicative of the increasingly relaxed attitude towards pot. It would be interesting to go over his cases that may have been pot related and see what his pattern of judgement was.

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