White Bear Township pot grow-op: Family busted "just trying to grow a little weed" [UPDATE]
|Like the Robinson's basement operation, these marijuana plants are being grown indoors.|
From the good parenting files: Barbara Jo and Michael Wayland Robinson gave their older son free weed in exchange for his help tending the marijuana plants in their basement. Their younger son, however, had to pay his dad for pot, $60 per quarter ounce.
At least that's what Jason and Jeremy Robinson told officers after a search of their White Bear Township home turned up 16 marijuana plants, 17 smaller plants, and all the bells and whistles -- "grow lights, fertilizing material, and potting soil from the grow operation," plus "various other packages containing suspected marijuana throughout the residence" and "suspected psilocybin" (read: magic) mushrooms in Jeremy's room, according to a complaint filed yesterday in Ramsey County.
In Barbara and Michael's defense, their sons aren't kids -- the boys are 34 and 28, though they still live at home.
While Jason and Jeremy spoke with officers, their parents opted to remain silent. But Dad couldn't totally bite his tongue: When arrested, he "spontaneously said, 'I'm just trying to grow a little weed,'" per the complaint.
Well, more than a little. The Ramsey County Crime Lab found a total of 3,445.96 grams of marijuana, or 7.6 pounds. (There were only 3.2 grams of mushrooms).
The sons insist that all that marijuana was only for the family's habit. Jason Robinson "denied they were selling marijuana," and Jeremy echoed his older brother, telling officers, "his family grows marijuana for personal use." While his mother doesn't help with the operation, he said, "they sometimes smoke together."
But why did the Robinsons start growing in the first place? The brothers point fingers at everyone's favorite scapegoat, the recession, for the move into DIY weed. According to Jason, "the family decided to grow their own when the economy went bad and they could no longer afford to buy it." Jeremy, too, reported, "the decision to start growing marijuana was purely economic."
Blame the economy: forcing families into the drug business since 2008. That, or they all have terrible migraines. Or watch too much "Weeds," the Showtime show featuring similarly entrepreneurial relatives.
All four Robinsons are charged with felony counts of possession and sale of marijuana. The maximum sentence is 5 years or a $10,000 fine, or both.
Here's what the Robinsons, our local Botwin family, look like.
|Ramsey County Sheriff|
|Barbara Jo, Jason, Jeremy, and Michael Robinson.|