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Seneca pot case still on docket

The judge rejects the defense arguments for dismissal.

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on January 26, 2015 1:08PM

Last changed on January 27, 2015 11:05AM

CANYON CITY – Grant County Circuit Judge William D. Cramer Jr. last week denied the motions to dismiss the marijuana charges against Joy Maxine Graves and Raymond Martin.

The cases stem from a raid in Seneca last summer when police seized 13 pot plants from Graves’ property, where Martin was a caretaker.

Defense attorneys Robert Raschio of Canyon City, Brian Michaels of Eugene, and Timothy Gassner of Madras argued that the case conflicts with their clients’ freedom of religion, who use marijuana as a sacrament in their Native American church.

However, Deputy District Attorney Matthew Ipson held that the state law prohibiting marijuana grows within 1,000 feet of a school should apply regardless of the religious claims.

In his order, Cramer said the state still has a compelling interest “to exclude non-medical marijuana from being near schools.”

Cramer also acknowledged the “landscape of laws involving marijuana is changing in Oregon,” but said the court must decide the case based on laws existing “at the time of the offense and the facts.”

Voters last fall passed a measure legalizing recreational pot that will go into effect in July.


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