Defendant: "Right-to-farm' cancels marijuana-growing charge

A Mid-Missouri woman indicted for growing marijuana in her home in October 2012 has asked Circuit Judge Dan Green to throw out that charge.

"The conduct alleged in the indictment, even if taken as true, does not give rise to an offense in that the conduct is protected by the Missouri Constitutional right to farm (amendment)," Public Defender Justin Carver said in a six-page motion filed Tuesday.

He said the laws prohibiting marijuana cultivation "violate the following constitutional rights: due process; equal protection; to privacy; to farm; to the enjoyment of the gains of her own industry, all as guaranteed by the 1st, 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution and Sections 2, 10, and 35 of Article I of the Missouri Constitution."

Missouri voters last August narrowly approved the amendment by 2,375 votes - out of more than 997,000.

Carver's motion reminded the court the amendment says: "The right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state."

And, he added, "This constitutional amendment prohibits the legislature from passing laws that limit or restrict the rights of Missouri farmers and ranchers to engage in farming practices.

"The amendment prohibits the legislature from declaring what can and cannot be grown in Missouri."

Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson had not responded to Carver's motion by Wednesday, and didn't comment about Carver's filing for this story.