On Friday The Oregonian reported the story of a 48-year-old man who stabbed a 16-year-old. The teenager had jumped his fence and was trying to steal some of the middle-aged man’s pot plants. Now the man is facing charges of attempted murder, assault, possession of a firearm and unlawful manufacture of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.
According to the report, the man found the teenager in his backyard attempting to steal plants. They struggled and the man stabbed the teen multiple times in the chest and back. When neighbors saw the bloody teen stagger and collapse in the street, they called 911. When police arrived, the man barricaded himself in his home for hours before surrendering. The teen is now recovering at the hospital.
What's disturbing about the story is that the man, who is a registered medical marijuana patient, reportedly had more than 320 mature and 170 immature marijuana plants. As a medical marijuana patient, he’s entitled legally to grow six mature and 18 immature plants.
No pot plant is ever worth another human’s life. Shooting or stabbing a thief or building a booby trap to hurt someone is not only going to add serious charges if you’re ever caught, your actions could hurt or kill you, like the New York man who decapitated himself earlier this month by driving his ATV through a piano wire booby trap he had set.
Of course, the real culprit here is marijuana prohibition. Under legalization this man’s pot-growing business wouldn’t be hidden in a residential neighborhood or defended by a paranoid guy with knives. After all, I haven’t read any stories about a man stabbing a kid who was trying to steal his cases of home-brewed beer. And if anyone was sneaking in to raid the vast legal marijuana field, the farmer could just call the cops.