A popular American outdoors writer has been arrested after authorities said they found a large marijuana growing operation in his barn – in the appropriately-named town of Weed.
Deputies served a search warrant on 55-year-old Tom Stienstra’s California home and seized 60 plants and more than 11lbs of processed marijuana, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said.
Stienstra was arrested for investigation of possessing marijuana for sale and released on £49,000 bail. His wife and two other men were also arrested.
Prosecutors have sent the case back to the sheriff’s office for further investigation and have not filed any charges, Siskiyou County district attorney Kirk Andrus said. Messages left for Stienstra and his lawyer Eric Bergstrom were not immediately returned.
Stienstra writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and appears regularly on Northern California radio and television stations.
He is the author of more than 20 guidebooks that together have sold more than a million copies and was twice named writer of the year by the Outdoor Writers Association of America, according to the biography on his website.
Scales, packaging material and other paraphernalia were confiscated from Stienstra’s barn and home, sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said.
Deputies found medical marijuana recommendations for Stienstra, his wife and her 18-year-old son, who was not arrested, Ms Gravenkamp said.
Until recently, California law limited medical marijuana users to possessing six mature or 12 immature plants, and 8oz of processed dried marijuana unless individual counties set higher limits.
But the state supreme court struck down those limits in January, sending police, prosecutors and users into a state of confusion over how much marijuana will not count as too much.