US Marijuana Party

Thursday, August 04, 2005

'Pot' bust yields catnip

Chuin-Wei Yap -- 861-9253 August 4, 2005

WATERVILLE -- A cat somewhere might be in trouble with the law.

Police officers thought they had found a marijuana haul grown indoors -- but when they searched a Silver Street apartment Tuesday morning, all they caught was catnip.

Catnip is an herb of the mint family. Scientists say it provokes a "high" for cats -- but not humans.

Police went to Stefanie Glidden's apartment above Silver Street Tavern at 9:15 a.m., convinced that pot plants were growing on a window sill.

"I was in the restaurant at the time," said Glidden, 24, who works at Silver Street Tavern. "I was told by the chef that the police were at my apartment and they had a warrant."

Accompanied by James Richards, the tavern's co-owner and the building's leaseholder, Glidden showed officers her herb garden in a flower box.

"They kept asking, 'Where's the white plant pot?'" she said.

With Richards' cooperation, officers then searched the apartment above Glidden's -- where they found catnip in a white plant pot.

Police said the search was the result of a mistaken tip.

Officers who went to check the window saw what they believed to be the illegal plant, according to Police Chief John E. Morris.

They then sought approval from the Kennebec County district attorney for a search warrant, signed by a judge.

Morris said the search lasted about a half-hour.

Richards and Glidden said they believe the search was the result of a police officer moving into an apartment across the alley from Glidden.


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