SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — A 60-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday after an eluding incident led to the discovery of a small indoor marijuana growing operation.
The incident began at 11:19 a.m. when a Washington State Patrol trooper tried to stop a motorist for driving without a seat belt near the corner of First Street and Lincoln Avenue, according to an arrest affidavit. The man drove around the corner and left the vehicle in the driveway of a home in the 1400 block of South Second Street.
While looking for the driver, officers noticed a basement door was open, leading to a brief incursion in search of the suspect and the discovery of what appeared to be a small indoor marijuana operation.
After obtaining a search warrant, agents with the Law Enforcement Against Drugs task force entered the property and seized 13 marijuana plants as well as growing lights and other equipment.
When the homeowner showed up, she was arrested after telling officers the grow was hers. Police said she always meant to get a medical marijuana card but never got around to it.
She was held in jail overnight pending a preliminary appearance in Yakima County Superior Court.
The driver, who police said is the woman’s son, escaped capture.
Under a state law passed in 1998, possession of a combination of 15 plants and 24 ounces of processed pot is allowed for medical use as long as the user has proper documentation.
A new state law that took effect last month legalized possession of a small amount of marijuana for persons age 21 and older.
It did not, however, legalize the production and sale of marijuana.
The state has until December 2013 to formulate a regulatory scheme for sales and distribution.