Pot smoker, 73, could face prison for "25 to 30 bowls-a-day" habit
Ray Martin McFeters isn't shy about his drug habit.
Photo by Rob Passons copyright © 2013 Mille Lacs Messenger. McFeters has never been a dealer, he says. "I never have enough for myself."
The 73-year-old Air Force veteran lives in the rural Minnesota town of Aitkin, right on the north end of Mille Lacs Lake. He's been smoking pot most of his life, currently up to about 25-30 bowls a day, according to a recent interview with the Mille Lacs Messenger. "I go through about an ounce every couple of weeks," he tells the paper.
McFeters was recently charged in Aitkin County with distribution or possession of "more than 42.5 grams" of marijuana and failure to attach tax stamps to the marijuana. The latter charge alone could carry up to 7 years in prison and $14,000 in fines, according to the complaint.
There's some debate over how much weed McFeters had on him. In the complaint, the officer states he weighed out more than six ounces. McFeters estimates it was closer to one ounce.
Here are a few highlights from the Messenger's interview with McFeters:
McFeters is a retired computer programmer who lives with his wife Patty on the north shore of Mille Lacs Lake. He learned to write code while serving four years with the United States Air Force in crypto maintenance during the Cuban missile crisis. He was honorably discharged in 1964.
"Yeah, I grew a few plants," McFeters said. "I thought I was doing good by not supporting the cartels and everything like that."
McFeters said he was certainly guilty of possession of marijuana, but any charge of intent to distribute was absurd. "I've never been a dealer. Oh God, no," McFeters said. "I never have enough for myself."
Ray doesn't like alcohol. "I tried it but it just made me sick," he said. "And you can't do computer programming when you're drunk, but boy, you can sure do it when you're stoned. After smoking pot my mind was like zippity-zippity-zippity. I was really good at my job."
The Aitkin County Sheriff's Department began investigating McFeters after getting an anonymous tip, according to the complaint. Read the full story here.