Pot smoker, 73, could face prison for "25 to 30 bowls-a-day" habit

Categories: Drugs

raymcfeters560.jpg
Photo by Rob Passons copyright © 2013 Mille Lacs Messenger.
McFeters has never been a dealer, he says. "I never have enough for myself."
Ray Martin McFeters isn't shy about his drug habit.

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.

SEE ALSO: St. Cloud police show off 44 pounds of pot they seized yesterday

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."

And:


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."

And:

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.

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53 comments
ohcannconsumer
ohcannconsumer

As for the fact some fellow citizen made a "TIP" to police I have even bigger issues with! If thats even true, because its very common for police to just say they have a tip and use their own lack of evidence to just bypass the law and get an unjust search warrant and bust in your door! But if so and a real citizen called and made a tip, we have major issue as a country. We are conditioning our citizens to report our fellow citizens for wrong doings? Really is that what America is all about, narc on your fellow citizens? I think not. If we keep down this road, soon it will be half the population arrested and in prison and the other half paid simply to watch over them, well, until its your turn to be turned in and you become a prisoner, once they are done with your service! How sad that fellow citizens still believe the lies and mis-information about the plant marijuana to the point they would call and report a 76 yr old man to be arrested over it, OMG why are we even are dealing with this while the rest of the nation is in full swing to legalize and soon? How sad it will be if this man is sitting in prison while we make marijuana legal, how about if this older man dies in prison due to some fellow citizen not understanding the truth and the facts and calling in a tip to have him imprisoned! WE HAVE TO STOP THIS, it starts with education, American citizens, you have all been lied to for over 75yrs about marijuana, even today police and our government will spew those lies and we as citizens need to educate ourselves and know the truth! The truth is; marijuana is far safer than alcohol and tobacco and is the most medically active plant on earth! With that said, anything we do thats not in line with those facts are lies and corruption and what prohibition is all about and that's why we have to end it! 

ohcannconsumer
ohcannconsumer

A fact is a fact its illegal??? Really is that how our country works we just roll over and let unjust and corrupt laws rule our lives or do we fight back and change those laws? I cant believe these days with all the truth about marijuana thats out and the fact our government has lied to all of us for well over 75 yrs about this plant that anyone would make the statement, its illegal so there, go to jail! Sure with that thought all the gays should have just shut their mouths and since in the south it was illegal to be gay to do gay acts they should have just sat there and lived a life they didnt want to live? No wait slaves should have just been slaves and not fight to free themselves and what wait for what, for who, to just free them? NO, Thats not how Americans deal with unjust laws, we stand up to corruption and to bigotry and when a law like prohibition, that has been proven not to work well over 79 yrs ago, with a law like that we fight back and demand change and yes we ignore the law and support our fellow citizens for doing so! Sure let unjust laws stand, let them come for all cannabis consumers! When they come for you next due to some law based on bigotry and lies, we wont be here to save you!

ex-halfwife
ex-halfwife

Eric, you are sooo far off base.  I don't care what your dad does unless it impacts my children.  I'm not the one keeping the boys away from you.  Moving 2 hours away and driving over the road has more of an impact on your time with the boys than  I could ever do.  Maybe one day someone in your family can take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming others or trying to excuse their behavior like your dad continually does.  Facts are facts and pot is an illegal drug and until the state and federal government laws are changed your dad broke the law.  Period.  I think Ray was so cooperative because he wanted to be part of the movement to legalize pot and have his name associated with that.  You should be more concerned about the impact on your sons than trying to blame me for your dad getting busted. 

emcfeters50
emcfeters50

I know where the tip came from, lets just say a angry ex-wife of Ray's son wanted to keep the children from their father

marijuanaFelon
marijuanaFelon

a WAR on drugs implies both sides are fighting and attempting to harm one another - pot smokers aren't fighting anyone, they are the victims in a war on personal freedom


legalize freedom - celebrate god's gifts

rpassons
rpassons

Ray was smoking Durban Poison during the interview. I don't think he's exaggerating his consumption.

Jeff Kolb
Jeff Kolb

what a fucking joke. a retired vet likes to smoke who cares. if he wanted to drink himself stupid that would be ok- yeah makes sense back off

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

I'm a recovered Minnesotan who lives in Arizona and am lucky enough to have Medical Marijuana available to treat the symptoms of MS. There will be an iniative on our next ballot next year to legalize it for recreational use and, according to all the polls, the majority is for legalization.

Can't believe Minnesota is still in the dark ages on this issue.


But then, you all did elect Michele Bachman.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

The tide is turning on legalization.  Vote and then call the people you vote for and tell them to end this unjust and costly drug war.  Minnesota needs to be in front of the curve.  We will make money from taxation and tourism.  We will save money from less law enforcement and prison costs.  The cops will focus on real crime. Criminal gangs will lose their main source of revenue.  It's just common sense people.  We can do it.  

Rick Ehman
Rick Ehman

This man is a hero, not a criminal. Why don't you go bust a meth lab, rather than picking on an old veteran with a green thumb. SHAME!!!

Sallyjos
Sallyjos

Should have taken up mortgage banking. No charges or jail time for that no matter who you harm.

Glossolalia Black
Glossolalia Black

This guy is hurting absolutely nobody. The drug war is a national shame.

Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor

LEAVE THE OLD MAN ALONE IT'S NOT HURTING ANYONE USE COURT TIME FOR REAL CRIMES

Tom Fru
Tom Fru

Decriminalize marijuana already.

Dan Reis
Dan Reis

MN needs to finalize the Med mari bill

Dan Reis
Dan Reis

This is commonplace amonst heavy smokers or users of Tincture,

Jessi Brennan
Jessi Brennan

My comment was my way of sarcastically implying that I don't really care what people do to mess themselves up.

Dawn Mickle
Dawn Mickle

sounds like you need to sit down and smoke a bowl yourself.. lmao

Dawn Mickle
Dawn Mickle

i bet there are 10 meth labs in the same area.. why dont they get busy going after the drugs that actually do damage to families & people around those addicts.. never met a pothead who robbed/beat/damaged property.. leave the poor guy alone!

Shred Betty
Shred Betty

Hey Jessi ~ Pot is an herb & medicine legal in several states. Most people are on big pharma drugs so go figure.

Love Dustin Thomas
Love Dustin Thomas

the county jail is full of harmless men. capital hill is full of criminals.

Sabra Morse Onstott
Sabra Morse Onstott

Look, I've never been a real fan of any form of intoxicant, legal or illegal, and I'm no fan of drugs. Hell, I do the speed limit, OK? But the simple fact is this dude made it to his 70s with a kind of ridiculous pot habit and there's no indication he has committed any other crimes. So why the hell use government money to prosecute him while there are violent criminals receiving little or no jail time?

cjs.2614
cjs.2614

This is absolutely ridiculous. The cops out there have nothing better to do than harass an old man doing his thing, not hurting anyone. 7 years in prison?!? A lowlife family member of mine got 8 years for dealing meth! Another is facing 1.5-3 years for cocaine. But this is marijuana! Additionally, that's $65,000 a year taxpayers have to.pay just because this dude was smoking pot. Get your priorities straight, Aitkin fuckin' cops! As well as this damn state (and nation).

Mark Michalski
Mark Michalski

Wow, that's a lot of weed to smoke in a day! I agree, he's not doing anyone harm, why the stink? Our resources could be allocated toward more useful things, rather than busting someone for smoking weed for Chrissakes!

skywalker
skywalker

30 bowls a day is a lot, but I'm trying hard to see how it harms society in any way. Nope, got nothing. And we're going to ruin this man's life and spend our tax money to do it.

Jess Mikkelson
Jess Mikkelson

I can't even wrap my mind around smoking that much weed. This case is utter bullshit, though. He's not hurting anyone, and if they'd just legalize and tax the stuff the government would be making a hell of a lot more money than it's currently spending to prosecute people for harmless stuff like this.

Sandra
Sandra

"The Aitkin County Sheriff's Department began investigating McFeters after getting an anonymous tip, according to the complaint."

To the noble citizen who felt the need to make an anonymous tip to the police on an old man who wasn't hurting a soul -- please, PLEASE kill yourself.

debpias
debpias

I think there should be an age clause. It you make it to 70 and you want to smoke pot, go for it! You've earned it ;)

Curtis Meyer
Curtis Meyer

Hi, anonymous tipster, you are a major fucking asshole. You just ruined someone's life for no good reason.

Alyssa Mason
Alyssa Mason

Leave him alone. What a waste of tax-payer money.

Cyndie Lind
Cyndie Lind

I am so sick of reading stories like this. Ridiculous!! What a waste of time and money. Leave this poor man alone. Who was he harming? NO ONE!

josh019
josh019

Let this guy go now - I say lets start a fundraiser for the Ray Martin McFeters Defense Fund!

ex-halfwife
ex-halfwife

Eric, you soooo far off base.  I don't give a damn about what your dad does other than how he would influence his two teenage grandsons.  Oh, instead of worrying about me, how about you worry about getting off your deadbeat ass and act like a dad that your dad wasn't?  Remember crying on my shoulder wondering why your dad was so selfish and refused to do things with you unless he wanted to do them?  Apple doesn't fall from the tree, does it?  For all of you pro-pot enthusiast:  instead of sitting behind a computer and calling Ray a hero, why don't you try to get pot legalized?  From my own experience with Ray, I think this is his way in his old life to fight for a passion he's had for most of his life.  I don't condone illegal activity, especially from my children's grandfather, but at least he's doing something to cause change. 

sandra
sandra

@shadeaux14 You're probably going to catch hell for daring to bad mouth Minnesota on these boards, but personally, I totally agree. For such a progressive state, good lord, we're stuck 20 years behind on a lot of issues. 

m.vukelich
m.vukelich

@Benjamin Schwelling  IDIOT!!!!


MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Jessi Brennan Yeah! Let's all drink alcohol! Good idea!

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@josh019 Yes - do it and post it here.

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