NewsBriefs BUTTONS

Purple Heart Recipient Loses Home for Growing Pot for Own Use


January 1993

A partially disabled Kentucky war veteran and Purple Heart recipient lost his home after being convicted of growing marijuana for personal use (AP, "Government Confiscation Leaves Vet, Wife Homeless," Paducah Sun, 12/24/92, 2A).

Veteran Steve May was tried for trafficking in marijuana and cocaine but a Livingston, Kentucky Circuit Court jury convicted him only of cultivating marijuana for personal use. The jury recommended a 120-day jail term and $500 fine. But in a situation that has become increasingly common, the federal government moved to seize his $65,000 home and 33 acres of property.

Asked about the fairness of the federal action, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the federal government, Marisa Ford, told an AP reporter, "You'll have to ask Congress about that." Ford noted that under federal law property may be seized even if no one is convicted of a crime. The government must prove only show that the owner was negligent in allowing a crime to occur there.