• Man says poor economy led him to grow marijuana


    ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. - Sheriff’s deputies said they found dozens of marijuana plants in an Alexander County home.

    Deputies said they found marijuana in just about every room of the home at the Pritchard Mobile Home Park south of Hiddenite. Some of the plants were more than 6 feet tall.  

    “(It) makes me cry to see all of my hard work destroyed this bad,” said renter Dustin Smith.

    Smith said his power bill was more than $300 a month to grow the plants.  He not only admitted to growing the pot but also gave his reason behind the indoor growing: He said he could not find a job.

    “The economy is just absolutely terrible everywhere,” Smith said. “(In) today's economy, you just got to do what you got to do.”

    Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman said the economy is not a reason to do what Smith did. Deputies have charged him with manufacturing marijuana. 

    “It was our luck that we could stop it at this time, because the bigger plants in the bedroom were ready to be harvested,” Bowman said.

    Smith's bond was set at $25,000. 

    A total of 167 marijuana plants were seized -- 114 were taken from the home and the rest were taken from a shed. Deputies valued the plants at $2,000 each.

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