Don't Pot Growers Have a Right to Self-Defense?

In another case at the intersection of drug prohibition and armed self-defense, Gershom L. Avery of Lima Township, Michigan, faces charges of assault and using a gun in the commission of a felony after shooting a burglar. The fact that the burglar was trying to steal the marijuana Avery was growing seems to be clouding what should be a clear case of self-defense:

"This is not some wacko shooting off a gun," said [Scio Township Trustee Chuck] Ream, a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "This is a homeowner, a worker, and a citizen. Even if it was found that he was growing a green plant, he doesn't give up his right to defend his family. He wasn't protecting his plants. He was protecting his wife and his life."

[Thanks to Allen St. Pierre for the link.]

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  • Lima Indiana pot grower||

    Oh shit, I'm going to be next.

  • ||

    "This is a homeowner, a worker, and a citizen. Even if it was found that he was growing a green plant, he doesn't give up his right to defend his family. He wasn't protecting his plants. He was protecting his wife and his life."

    Oh NORML, what kind of message will that send to our children? We can't have them believe that people who engage in criminal behavior have any rights to self defense.

    If he wasn't engaging in criminal behavior he wouldn't have put himself and his family at risk. He deserves whatever bad things happen to him, and so does his family for harboring and tolerating a criminal who is destroying society with the evil-herb
    </Juanita>

  • ||

    Dude, what's up with Lima? Town seems to have an unusually high quotient of Awesome. Case in point: check out this quote from an elected official

    One of Avery's supporters, Scio Township Trustee Chuck Ream, said none of the events would have happened if not for the country's "insane inquisition against our own citizens which we call the drug war."

  • ||

    "insane inquisition against our own citizens which we call the drug war."

    I'm gonna use that.

  • ||

    killa,

    Somehow I'm figuring that Lima Township and Scio Township are not sharing the same land.

  • ||

    http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/cities_twps_villages/lg_locmap.html

  • ||

    Er, after reading the article, it looks like the high bond was first set because the homeowner was charged with shooting a fleeing intruder in the back, and the bond was lowered when it appeared he may have shot the person still advancing into the home.

  • ||

    Don't Pot Growers Have a Right to Self-Defense?

    ?

    Does anyone, other than a police offier, nowadays?

  • ||

    I read a self defense article that said that studies had shown that a target can in fact turn around in the time it takes you to hit him with a round after making the decision to shoot.

  • GILMORE||

    if he wasnt doing teh illegals than he wouldnt bein trouble only the guilty have reeson to fear why do you people hate America and babies and god?

  • marijuana||

    smoke me

  • ||

    "There were - at best - trespassers on his property when this occurred" ... "some distance away"

    So ... how did they find the pot? Did they enter and search the home? Did they act on a tip from the teen invaders?

    Unless there was some plain sight doctrine in play, it seems odd that the police would have discovered the weed without bending some rules.

  • Episiarch||

    What it is becoming, more and more, is that the local police and prosecutor have total discretion over your life if you are in any way brought to their attention. If they decide that it was cool that you defended yourself (for example), you're all set. If not, they will fuck you.

  • ||

    whats this bull crapp about this grower being a criminal! ya maybe he broke the law{grwing & smoking weed ,but not sellen it}, and since when did the law coinside with doing whats right.He has just as much a right to protect his plants as any other personal posession.

  • bill||

    You can't just shoot somebody just because they are on your property, even in your house. You have to prove that you believed they posed an imminent threat to life and limb.

  • ||

    Wrong. I really can shoot anyone I want, especially in my home.

    bill, get with the times. You are talking pre-revolutionary law.

  • ||

    A quick look at Michigan law (updated in 2002)says you can shoot someone in self defence if you reasonably feel your life is threatened, you can not shoot "anyone you want" or anyone in your home. I think this is the point everyone is missing. The police are going after this guy on the theory that the homowner shot the burglar after he started fleeing, so no reasonable fear of safety (and they could very well be wrong about that- police are wrong about a lot of things). The pot growing does not have anything to do with that, other than explain why the burglars were targeting the home.

  • Steve Lieber||

    The question is in the news here in Portland as well:
    http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=119818823475451100

  • ||

    I think Joe has pretty much summed it up here... as usual, people start squawking about crap they know nothing about.

  • ||

    "You can't just shoot somebody just because they are on your property, even in your house. You have to prove that you believed they posed an imminent threat to life and limb"

    wrong. you do not need to prove they are an "imminent threat" to life and limb.

    amazing the ignorance in this forum. self-defense law, and the specific castle doctrines vary, to some extent, state by state... however... i am familiar with deadly force law (for civilians and cops) in extensive detail in 5 states, and have passing knowledge of about 30 others, and in none need one prove what you claim.

    so back it up or retract it.

    and educate yourself.

    as for shooting somebody in the back...

    ASSUMING (and it's an assumption) that the guy was facing away and retreating AT THE TIME tHE HOMEOWNER DECIDED TO PULL THE TRIGGER, it still may or may not be justified.

    just because somebody is facing away and/or moving away from you does not NECESSARILY make the homeowner force thing unjustified. it is certainly critical to the analysis though.

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