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Backyard Marijuana Grower Avoids Jail


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Prosecution on charges of possessing more than 50 marijuana plants and possessing processed marijuana was deferred, but can be resumed if Redmon, who has no prior criminal record in Tazewell County, fails to fulfill conditions that came with the deferral.He can remain free if he meets conditions that came with prosecutors’ decision to withhold pursuit of felony drug charges filed after Redmon’s secret garden was discovered in July.That worked out well for Redmon, 53, who went home Friday rather than to jail for growing more than 140 marijuana plants behind the tall privacy fence that surrounds his backyard on the city’s north side.Jerry Redmon didn’t get the chance to harvest and share the bountiful produce his backyard garden promised this summer. Police officers destroyed it.

“You put something like that on Facebook and everybody’s going to know about it,” the neighbor said.One neighbor said neither she nor others nearby knew of it “before the police showed up,” but she later learned neighborhood kids had found and posted photographs of it on an Internet social network site.Police nipped that hobby in the bud, so to speak, after children living around his home at 1604 Matilda St. followed their curiosity and discovered the pot garden that filled Redmon’s yard amidst his tightly packed block of small homes.Among them, Redmon must not return next spring to what he said was a new horticultural hobby that he hoped would lead to steady work as a legal marijuana grower.

Redmon never told police what he planned to do with his marijuana once it was ready for harvest.The state this year authorized a pilot program for private producers to grow marijuana for medical uses of the drug, which is still otherwise illegal. Licenses for the program are expected to be issued soon — but not to home growers.“He said he knew (the plants) were illegal, but it was a hobby of his,” Eeten said. “He was anticipating medical marijuana in Illinois. He wanted to get a head start on how to grow it and hoped he could get a job with a cannabis production plant.”That included officers who called on Redmon on July 1 as he tended his 117 plants rooted in the ground and 24 growing in pots, said Pekin Police Public Information Officer Mike Eeten. Inside his house police found more than 600 grams of marijuana dried and bagged, Eeten said.




Edited by bobandtorey
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