Thursday, September 10, 2009

Montana Medical Marijuana News

Medical marijuana supplier pleads not guilty

by PERRY BACKUS - Ravalli Republic
Wednesday, September 09 2009

A Hamilton medical marijuana "caregiver" charged with selling
marijuana to confidential informants plans to argue that she was
entrapped by police.

Mayson Lynn Simmons, 45, pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of
criminal distribution of dangerous drugs in Ravalli County District
Judge Jeffrey Langton's court Wednesday.

Simmons allegedly sold marijuana to two confidential informants in April
and July. In both cases, court records said the informants told Simmons
they did not possess a medical marijuana card.

Both transactions were monitored by Hamilton police.

Simmons' attorney, Carol Johns, told Langton she plans to argue that
her client was entrapped and that police used an illegal search warrant.
Johns said she'll ask the court to suppress information obtained
through the informants.

Johns asked Langton to release Simmons on her own recognizance. She said
Simmons is a longtime Ravalli County resident with no criminal history.

"The charges alleged involve marijuana," Johns said.
"It's not a narcotic. No one was injured."

Johns called the $50,000 bail set in justice court "highly
excessive." Johns said her client lives on a $1,034 disability
payment and about $150 every two weeks earned through her massage
therapy business.

Ravalli County Prosecutor Bill Fulbright said Simmons ignored the
state's medical marijuana law by selling the drug "out of the
back door of her house" and telling the second confidential
informant that he could come back for more.

"This was not a one time deal," Fulbright said.

When Simmons was arrested, she had $4,000 in cash on her person,
Fulbright said.

Langton reduced Simmons' bail to $5,000.

Simmons testified this year before the Montana Legislature in favor of
legislation that expanded the use of medical marijuana in the state.

A retired federal employee, Simmons told the Ravalli Republic earlier
that she suffers from arthritis pain and the use of medical marijuana
has allowed her to earn some additional income from practicing massage

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Editor Perry Backus can be reached at 363-3300 or

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