A registered California medical marijuana user is distraught after he was arrested by Texas police after they found medical marijuana in the trunk of his car. He was driving from California to Texas to see his sick granddaughter.
Phillip Blanton, 67, was travelling to the Houston area on New Year’s Day to visit his granddaughter, who suffers from Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, when he was stopped for speeding.
“I said, ‘Officer, I don’t have any illegal drugs on me. Everything I have is a prescription from my doctor,’” Blanton told KHOU.
The grandpa has used marijuana for 10 years to treat side effects of triple bypass surgery and lingering pain from surviving polio.
Blanton admitted to the Decatur police officer that he was carrying a pipe in his car, which triggered the officer to search the vehicle.
“I’m a grandpa, so I’m thinking like a grandpa,” Blanton told KTRK. “I’m thinking, I’m going to help my granddaughter. I’m going to give her some of grandpa’s cookies to help her with her nausea and vomiting and the pain from the severe chemotherapy.”
The officer found four ounces of medical marijuana and more than 70 edible pot cookies in the trunk.
The officer handcuffed Blanton on suspicion of illegal possession of marijuana across state lines.
“I said, ‘What? Are you kidding me? I’m a patient. I’m a grandfather — not a drug dealer,’” Blanton told KHOU. “I’m there in handcuffs feeling like a total loser … a second-class citizen.”
Blanton spent a night in jail and was released after posting a portion of a $20,000 bond. He is now awaiting a court appearance.
Blanton said the stress has caused him to be physically sick.
“What’s going through my mind is terror,” he said. “I’m a 67-year-old grandpa who loves his family very much and wants to see his granddaughter who’s battling for her life.”
Blanton hasn’t told his granddaughter about the arrest and now his doctor is telling him to delay visiting her until he feels better.
“I feel so bad because I came here to uplift my family,” Blanton said.
The former minister says he did nothing wrong and that he won’t accept a plea deal when he makes his first court appearance.