Marijuana theft brings calls
by Chris Wilson
Most people who grow marijuana would probably keep quiet if
they got their plants stolen. But not one Oak View woman.
Andrea Nagy has been legally cultivating cannabis in her backyard
greenhouse since she moved into her Oak View home this past May.
She said she even went to the Ojai Police Department and told
them of her plans to cultivate before she began growing. Under
California's Medical Marijuana law, she has a legal right to
possess, use and grow marijuana for medical necessity because
her doctor gave his approval.
But in mid-November, Nagy and her boyfriend, Julian Gonzalez,
left town for the weekend. When they returned the following Tuesday,
Gonzalez went to the greenhouse at the back of the property to
check on the plants. They were gone, hacked off at the stalk.
In the greenhouse, Nagy and Gonzalez said they found Camel menthol
cigarette butts, pieces of black plastic garbage bag and a clipboard
with a note attached to it hanging from an extension cord that
had fed power to a 1,000 watt high pressure sodium lamp.
Gonzalez recited the note from memory, it read: "Hello dips-ts,
you wouldn't have lost so much if you would've been here. There
are two ways we can handle this and they're not all bad. See
you tomorrow at 3," Gonzalez said. The note was penned in
sloppy handwriting and in two different types of ink, Gonzalez
said, and was initialed with the letters, "S.P." and
"T.F." Nagy said the clipboard was a standard, pressboard
style clipboard that looked old. She said they also found hair
that was not theirs. Later, Gonzalez found more cigarette butts
on the other side of the back fence where he believes the thieves
entered the property. The wire fence at the back corner of the
property had been cut and was bent back.
Nagy said she immediately called the police and took all her
evidence to them for inspection and investigation. She also said
she and Gonzalez went around the neighborhood and asked the neighbors
if they had seen or knew anything.
One neighbor was particulary forthcoming and said they knew Nagy's
plants had been stolen on Saturday. This was now Tuesday, the
week before Thanksgiving.
That neighbor, who asked not to have their name printed, said
they knew who had taken the plants, but couldn't provide details.
They did say they had not been contacted by the police, but had
spoken with Gonzalez about the plant theft.
Ventura County Sheriff's Detective Joe Evans, who has been assigned
to the case, wouldn't comment because he said the case is still
under investigation. He did confirm that Nagy's plants were gone.
Now two months later, Nagy said she's contacted Evans twice,
but hasn't heard anything back from him.
"I feel I'm a double victim," Nagy said. "One,
I was ripped off, and two, a victim of refusal to investigate."
This isn't the first time, Nagy has had an operation shut down.
She opened a "compassion club" in a business park in
Thousand Oaks 1997 and provided medical marijuana to 60 patients.
Eventually she was shut down. Ventura County filed a $100,000
civil suit against Nagy as a public nuisance but lost - which
resulted in Nagy being given a judgment that allowed her to grow
for personal use and provide to others and be reimbursed for
it. But she decided not to reopen the club. This, however, has
not curbed her activism; she's produced a 3- minute videotape
on how to grow medical marijuana and has her own website, www.mymarijuanagarden.com.
"I'm an activist," she said. "And I don't think
patients should have to sit on the back of the bus anymore."
Now that she's been ripped off, she says she's not tired of fighting
for her rights and others, but is tired of the mentality around
here. For the past few weekends, she's traveled to Sonoma County
to check on housing and feels the spirit there is much more open.
When her lease at the property in Oak View is up in March, she
said she plans to move.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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