On Friday, a Nevada jury found a patient prescribed medical marijuana, who had been arrested on felony drug charges, not guilty, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In 2012, Steven Ficano, 65, was arrested on two felony drug charges: possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. When police raided Ficano’s home, they found over $50,000 cash, several firearms, and 68 marijuana plants.
Nevada state law dictates that a licensed person may not have more than 12 plants or more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana.
However, Ficano removed that money from his savings account when the economy crashed, the firearms were historic antiques, and the plants were either male or too young to produce buds.
Since 2012, medical marijuana dispensaries were legalized in the state of Nevada for the sole purpose of preventing situations like what happened to Ficano.
Recognizing the vast change in Nevada regarding the state’s medical marijuana laws, the jury took only an hour to reach the verdict of not guilty.
Ficano’s attorney, Dustin Marcello, noted how quickly the legal climate has changed regarding medical marijuana. “We’re not used to treating it as a medicine,” he said. “Well, those days are over.”
Ficano’s defense argued that because Ficano’s medical waiver didn’t make possession limits clear, nor did he receive instructions on how to properly grow marijuana, he was not guilty of any crime. When the jury announced the verdict, Ficano, his wife, and his legal team embraced each other in a celebration of justice.
This case is an example of social progress. Nevada prosecutors wanted to increase their conviction rate by parading antiquated marijuana laws that have sent thousands of non-violent criminals to prison. Not this time.