State v. Dickens

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 04-15-2015
  • Case #: A153152
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.

To establish an affirmative defense to a charge of manufacturing marijuana under ORS 465.856(1), a defendant must provide some evidence to the three specific requirements of ORS 475.319(1). Analysis of the evidence provided is to be highly deferential to the defendant.

Defendant appealed the trial court's denial of an affirmative defense under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA). Under ORS 465.856(1), a defendant can offer an affirmative defense if they meet three requirements under OMMA. Defendant met the first two requirements of (1) being diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition within the past 12 months that his attending physician advised could be alleviated by the use of medical marijuana and (2) engaging in the medical use of marijuana, but the trial court held that Defendant did not satisfy the third element, which set a limit of possession of six mature plants. The evidence presented at trial showed that 17 plants were removed from Defendant's property. Defendant attempted to give testimony that he had no knowledge of the seventeen mature plants, claiming three of the plants were brought to his home while Defendant was out of town, and also, while out of town Defendant only had three to four mature plants. The Court held that knowledge is not a requirement, and to have an affirmative defense Defendant had to present some evidence, analysis of which should be highly deferential to Defendant. The Court reasoned even if the three plants brought by a third party were disregarded, that leaves 14 mature plants that were removed and Defendant failed to provide any evidence that only six of the plants removed were “mature” and the other eleven were seedlings or starts. Affirmed.

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