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Michelle, Elected/Appointed Official
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4136
Experience:  30 + yrs in the legal profession incl. criminal, family, politics, legislator judiciary 6 yrs
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About a marijuana bong found in house

Resolved Question:

February 4, 2008 XXXXX
Copperhill, TN 37317

My name isXXXXX am in a difficult situation and need legal advice. I live in a house with a friend of over 30 years, Richard XXXXX, who is a physician. Richard was in judicial diversion for a case of prescribing to a patient without seeing the patient. He was on parole but didn't take it seriously and went on a vacation to Spain. After his return there was a parole visit to the house and a marijuana 'bong' was found. Richard and I neither drink alcohol nor smoke marijuana but there is an explanation for the 'bong'. I wrote a letter explaining it for Richard's attorney. The attorney has told Richard that to have his parole violation dismissed I would have to write a statement saying the 'bong' was mine otherwise Richard could suffer revocation of the judicial diversion and could face up to two years in jail. The point for me is that my account is entirely true and I am being asked (angrily) by my friend to take the blame for the 'bong' on the advice of his attorney. This distresses me and causes me fear. What can I do?
This is Monday evening. I will call your office in the morning and will get Richard to drive me to Cleveland to give you the paperwork Richard's lawyer has rejected. As you will note from the explanatory letter below I have a progressive neurological tremor, familial essential tremor, and minimise driving.

John XXXXX Ph.D.

January 29,2007

Explanation for marijuana ‘bong’ found in Richard XXXXX’s house

My name isXXXXX am almost 64 years old. I have known Richard XXXXX for over 30 years since we met when working in adjacent research laboratories at Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey.

This letter is to explain that Richard XXXXX could not have known about the presence of the ‘bong’. I also was not aware of its presence but did realize its provenance when it was found. The probation officer, Ms. XXXXX, and the two police officers will be able to confirm that despite the fact that Richard XXXXX was not home when they came to the door, I did welcome them in for the probation inspection and on seeing the police officers standing there while I discussed health topics with Ms. XXXXX, told them there was no need to wait for Richard XXXXX to return and said ’do your job’ while pointing out that the upper floor was my area of the house. It was in an unfurnished room on the upper floor that the ’bong’ was found.

I came to live with Richard XXXXX in my late fifties, after a 40-yr career, ending my work as a Director of Clinical Research due to the increasing difficulty of coping with a progressive neurological disability, familial essential tremor, which began when I was a teenager. It is a dominant gene defect which afflicts one in every two children born in my family. It is a classical form of familial essential tremor in which my head and hands tremor under any kind of stress. It is not Parkinson’s disease, which it resembles. Intellect remains intact and there is no associated mortality.

In common with many older people with familial essential tremor I sought a quiet environment, help with ordinary household tasks, and avoidance of social embarrassment by limiting contact with others.

Richard was very kind to me in giving me the upper floor of his house for my exclusive use, telling his visitors I was not to be troubled or disturbed. It consists of three rooms and full bathroom with stairs leading to the lower level. One room I made into my bedroom, the room with stairs and bathroom I made into my computer and reading room, the third room I left unfurnished and unused.

The third unfurnished room has been used for two extended weekends a year when Richard hosts a long weekend for his sisters, husbands, and their children at Thanksgiving and Christmas/ New Year. It is used for the teenagers to put out their sleeping bags to sleep there.

Several years ago, at Thanksgiving, I caught several teenagers in that unfurnished room smoking marijuana from the ’bong’ that was found. I stopped them, lectured them about doing so, told them to get rid of the ’bong’ but, to avoid causing strife, did not tell their parents and did not tell Richard until after the weekend was over and they had left. I told him I had dealt with it and felt I had. In their visits since I have monitored them and there has not been a re-occurrence. Evidently the teenagers did not get rid of the ‘bong’ but hid it in a closet where it would not be visible to me in a casual visit to the room. I regret that. If I had known it was there I would have destroyed it.

This situation has distressed me since I feel some responsibility in not being more thorough at the time and now has led to a problem for my good friend Richard. I can assure you that Richard has been diligent in his 12-step program and I have been supportive of him. Of course I myself avoid any stimulus, including marijuana, since doing so could exacerbate my essential tremor. I cannot even drink one cup of coffee, because caffeine seriously increases the tremor for several days after.

I am not idle in my chosen environment. In line with my career (I enclose my CV) I still follow the medical literature, reading and writing about important topics on medical/scientific frontiers on a web site I have built and continue adding to with a monthly Gazette. Older members of my family have done very much the same thing, gardening, reading, having a limited social circle, and have lived content with that.

I ask you understand the predicament I now feel myself in.

John XXXXX, Ph.D.

Some of my web pages:
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Michelle replied 9 years ago.

Dear johmfahey

If you admit to something that is not true and correct - you could wind up with facing criminal charges for something as simple as a bong - that is a crime that could put you on probation.

I think your letter is very well written and indeed gives a very reasonable and plausible explanation for the bong.


If my answer has been helpful, please ACCEPT my answer so I get credit for my effort to help you . If I can be of further help, let me know. Appropriate FEEDBACK is appreciated as is a bonus. Thanks ~ Michelle

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