Pair accused of pot manufacturing
A Pear Park woman and her son are headed to trial in a case in which law enforcement believe the pair had so much medical marijuana at their home that they intended to distribute it.
Mesa County District Judge Thomas Deister bound the case of 56-year-old Brenda Maggio and 26-year-old Javier Maggio over for trial Friday morning during a second installment of a preliminary hearing. The Maggios have been charged with three counts related to marijuana consumption, possession, manufacture and distribution after Mesa County sheriff’s deputies responded to their 30 Road residence Dec. 20, 2013, on a report of a suicidal person in the home.
The case has drawn the interest of several local activists who are opposed to the notion that law enforcement took away a dying woman’s medical marijuana.
“I firmly believe she did not intend to break the law,” said Robyn Parker, who, with a handful of others, held up signs outside the Mesa County Justice Center before the hearing, protesting the case. “She is taking it for medication.”
Deister said in his decision to allow the case to head to trial that the report showed deputies responded to the Maggio home after receiving information that marijuana was being grown illegally there and on a report of a suicidal person. Brenda Maggio was taken by ambulance to a hospital. After noting a strong smell of marijuana, deputies were given consent to search the home and found five to 50 pounds of marijuana, with plants drying on blinds and buds packed in mason jars. The Maggios told deputies they had a medical marijuana card, but it had expired. They told deputies Brenda Maggio used two ounces of medical marijuana a month for a debilitating condition and Javier smoked about four to five bowls of marijuana a day for pain.
On a chat site, thcfarmer.com, Javier explained the extreme pain his mother is in and described how the method for making cannabis oil requires a large amount of marijuana.
“It takes about a 1/4 pound every week to keep up a constant supply of fresh medicine for my mom,” he wrote in a post on Jan. 11, 2014. “Some people just do a pound or two right away and make large supplies. We could only afford so much alcohol a month to make her oil after all the bills were paid. We just cut our plants and hang them until we need them. Essential oils, as well as many other types of oil, can go bad or rancid.”
A next step has not been set for the case, and Javier may be seeking an attorney as his current defense lawyer is withdrawing from the case.
Brenda Maggio listened in on the preliminary hearing by telephone on Friday, presumably because she is too ill to attend.
“I just don’t understand why I’m being tortured as a disabled, dying veteran,” she said by phone conference, after Deister moved the case forward. “I was kidnapped and assaulted. I’m the one suffering. If it wasn’t for my son, I’d kill myself now and get it over with.”
“I can’t have anything that’s not organic,” she continued. “Can you give me a couple thousand dollars or give me some organic cannabis?”