Grow Love

Friday, July 20, 2007


DEA involved in small Santa Rosa med bust

this bust is totally ridiculous. automatic weapons? is that really necessary?? and why the hell are local cops calling in DEA for a tiny garden like this??

Man denies his pot growing is illegal

Railroad Square resident says confiscated plants were permitted for medical use


Evan Neumann swears he does not have a green thumb and
that the marijuana he's been growing since March
inside his home near Railroad Square is no big deal.

He says it tastes so bad that for flavoring he puts
lemon peel slices in the plastic bags used to store
the marijuana buds he smokes to treat his bipolar

Whatever the quality, Santa Rosa narcotics detectives
and agents with the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration targeted his home Friday. They busted
open his front door, ordered him and his roommate to
the ground and then broke up Neumann's
marijuana-growing operation.

Neumann, 35, was arrested on suspicion of possessing
marijuana for sale and cultivation of marijuana.

Neumann, who received his license to use medical
marijuana in February, said he was learning how to
grow marijuana with an eye on perhaps selling to local
cannabis clubs.

It is the latest venture for Neumann, the son of Claus
Neumann, former longtime owner of Los Robles Lodge.
The younger Neumann used to manage Hotel La Rose and
is a former president of the Historic Railroad Square

Depression set in after he broke up with his fiancee a
few years ago, he said, and he has been taking
prescription medicine ever since. Some of the
medications cause severe headaches and migraines and
marijuana helps him deal with the pain, he said.

"I never thought I would be targeted by law
enforcement," he said. "To be honest, my biggest fear
was a home invasion."

According to a police statement, officers served a
search warrant on Neumann's home Friday and found 179
marijuana plants and 1 pound of processed marijuana
packaged for sale. The statement said they also found
6 pounds of processed marijuana being dried, as well
as cultivation equipment, digital scales and packaging

Police said the 7 pounds of marijuana had a potential
street value of $28,000, and the plants had the
potential to produce marijuana with a street value of

Police were not available Saturday for further comment
on the raid.

Neumann scoffs at the projections. He admitted that he
probably was growing more plants than he was allowed
by his medical marijuana license. But he swears he is
not a criminal.

"That's a joke. It's just absolutely a joke," he said.
"The marijuana that I had that was processed was about
10 to 14 ounces."

He said that about 90 of the plants were tiny "clones"
he was nurturing in plastic Dixie Cups on his roof and
that he was likely to kill half of them.

"I've killed every single plant that I've grown," he
said. "I'm just not very good. There's a lot of steps
you have to go through before you can sell to a club.
The first step obviously is growing something the
clubs will buy."

Neumann's roommate, Jenn Kernan, a friend who recently
moved back to Santa Rosa from New Orleans, said she
couldn't believe what happened Friday morning.

"I was about to open the door when they broke it
down," she said. "The entire hallway was filled by men
with big guns, scary, big guns, automatic weapons. I
sank down to my knees. I was holding my dog in my

Neumann swears that he's never sold marijuana to
anybody, and that he was only looking at the
possibility of becoming a cannabis club grower.

The whole ordeal has shaken him up. "I wouldn't want
true criminals to go through that," he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 521-5213
Have a legal question or want to report a violation of the Compassionate Use Act? Call ASA's toll-free hotline at 1-888-929-4367


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