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CA Pot Farmer Sues Landlord 35 Grand in Stolen Marijuana Plants

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by underthesea

underthesea's picture
In The News

Judge Judy won’t be seeing the likes of this one—not simply because the Southern California case has to do with a legal/illegal drug/medicine, but because pot is just plain too valuable: a Superior Court lawsuit has turned into a case of “he says, police says”, as a pot farmer sues his landlord over a stolen bumper crop of marijuana plants valued at $35,000 while police now claim the farm to supposedly be illegal with issued “citations”.

Gary Hite has been utilizing a 1,892 sq-foot unit rental in a Murrieta, California, business park, to “grow” his business. The renter and pot farmer, Hite, is now suing Hunco Way LLC for his lost goods--claiming to the Riverside County Superior Court that there’s owner responsibility in both negligence and breach of contract.

Pot farmer Hite insists his marijuana crop, which he says has been grown for medicinal purposes—stolen, the renter alleges, because his Murrieta landlord negligently failed to fix a broken door and lock after a previous and recent break-in to a neighboring rental.

The adjoining unit of the business park was burglarized in mid-May 2010. Apparently it didn’t take long for burglars to “catch wind” of the adjoining pot enterprise adjacent—the renter’s entire medical marijuana pot crop stolen, just weeks after the initial next-door robbery. 35 marijuana plants disappeared on June 7, Hite says, because the next door unit’s lock was never repaired. Most likely following their noses, thieves were able to access Hite’s rental unit—then being used to grow pot at the time--via the previously burglarized space, and by simply smashing through the units’ shared drywall in order to gain entry.

Hite claims the 35 stolen plants carry a hefty price tag, worth a thousand bucks apiece, totaling a grand sum of thirty-five grand.

In a strange and somewhat illogical twist, local police are proffering a “not so fast” sort of “rebuttal”—despite the fact that the police department isn’t a defendant in the lawsuit, somehow law enforcement has come into play. Police now claim that Hite's pot operation was illegal, that the renter had supposedly been cited for various code violations. No word on why—if, in fact, police previously believed Hite’s pot farm to truly be illegal—“code violations” would have been issued but no arrest made.

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