May Be Going To Jail For Possessing Cannabis...(illinois)

Hello all, my name is Mitch I`m 32 years old, live in Belleville, Illinois and I may be going to jail for possessing pot`s my story: Now I don`t smoke pot, never have.  I`ve never sold pot, never will.  I`m married, a veteran Marine and I`ve never been in trouble with the law.  So, Last year my brother comes to live with me.  He`s 27 and a major pot user. My father kicked him out because he's such a problem...ex-meth addict, police record...etc.  So, being his older brother I naturally feel protective and take him in, I thought maybe he'd get his life together and grow up.  Over the course of a year I notice that his pot habit is so large that he was having to hit the streets almost every other day to score dope, he could only afford, $40 here, $60 there and before I knew he was dry and in need of more. 

So, I agree to growing a couple of plants in the basement.  I thought it would keep my brother off the streets trying to score.  I thought that if we quietly grew a couple of plants we'd be a low priority to law enforcement and I would'nt have to worry about my brother getting busted, robbed or shot on thestreet....boy was I wrong.

First off, being a complete novices, we were never able to grow that much.  So, my brother was still having to meet with dealers to buy pot.  Secondly,my brother, being the cannabis enthusiast, could never keep his mouth shut about it.  Also, the electricity bill for our one grow light was ridiculously high.  These issues caused my brother and I to fight constantly, enough to where at the end of just the second harvest  I pulled the plug on the whole thing.  It just wasn't worth the risk brother was still on the streets and, thanks to him, many people knew we were growing pot.  So I was done with it and whenever I had time I'd go into the basement and slowly clean it up.

About two weeks later the local police knock at my door and want to talk about the marijuana I'm growing in the basement.  I think my heart stoppedbeating I was so shocked.  I asked if they had a search warrant, they didn't so I didn't let them in (it really ****** the police off when you exercise your rights).  So, one guy drove off, presumably to get a search warrant and the other agents surrounded my home.  In my mind there was no way they'd ever show probable cause to get a warrant, so I wasn't that worried about it but I was deeply stunned and troubled that they even knew. 

A couple of hours go by and they get their warrant and raid my house,  I couldn't believe it.  To make a long story short, they find a small bag of leafclippings (75 grams) and charge me with a class 4 felony possession.  I immediately retained a lawyer....who assures me that the worst casescenario is that I get probation.

Oh, and here's the kicker.  Apparently, an "anonymous email" was sent to law enforcement claiming that I was growing THIRTY (30) pot plantsand that I was in the middle of harvesting them.  What's more, the police, in order to get the search warrant, claimed that the "strong odor of rawcannabis" was coming from a small basement window.  Hearing all these lies just infuriated me.

So, here it is, a couple of months later...the prosecutor is not offering a plea agreement.  My lawyer is dragging the case out, buying time.  I figured I'd at least plea it down and go on probation...but no such luck yet.  In Illinois first time felony offenders for my level of possession is 1-3 years.  This would just ruin my life and my marriage but I still cling to hope.


monkcaw monkcaw
31-35, M
2 Responses Mar 4, 2010

that is what they all say

Thanks for the kinds words, Purple. Yeah, needless to say, my brother has been kicked out...he's back living with dad and going to school but still smoking pot and putting himself on the streets. I just hope anyone who is even thinking about growing pot in Illinois takes a long, hard look at the penalties. They should know that law enforcement will lie to arrest them if they feel like it. They should know that you can't trust anyone, not even family; also that rats or confidential informants are everywhere, you will be busted.