A 36 year old owner of a bicycle shop in Grant Pass, Oregon is the first registered medical marijuana grower to be convicted on federal charges since the US attorney’s office started cracking down on abusers of the medical marijuana laws. Jason Michael Scott Nelson is one of four medical marijuana growers who were accused of pooling their harvests and making monthly shipments of marijuana from Portland, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts. The marijuana was shipped, hidden in storage PODS that were also loaded with furniture from Good Will.
The charges were prompted by the arrest of 45 year old Elizabeth Saul from Grant Pass, who admitted to police that she was the one that shipped the marijuana from Oregon to Boston. Police visited her home on a tip she was growing more medical marijuana than was allowed. Saul had 38 mature plants and 117 immature plants, a couple of pounds of marijuana, and $15,000 in cash. She showed them her notebook, which was devastating to the defense of the four. It documented for police that she made $125,000 a year selling the marijuana, making a profit of $300 from each pound. Three other raids we conducted the next day on the other defendants. She told investigators that the marijuana sold for $2400 to $2700 a pound in Boston.
Nelson has just received his conviction, as of today, 2012-06-13. His sentencing will be held on August 13th, but he was ordered to be held pending the sentencing, so he he has already begun serving his time, whatever it turns out to be, somewhere from five years, the minimum sentence he can receive, up to 40 years. The jury also found that his house in a rural area of Grants Pass should be forfeited as part of an illegal drug operation.
The other three, including Elizabeth Saul, are only facing state charges, largely because they had less marijuana plants on hand at the time of the raids. Amanda Marshall, a US Attorney for Oregon said of the convictions, “Our hope was to expose the lie about these huge operations that are just benevolently supplying medicine to sick people. Now we have the opportunity with this conviction to be able to have one more bit of evidence out there so people can be thinking critically whether or not this is what they want in their communities.”