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A Campus Garden That Just Went to Pot

September 30, 1990|LEE HARRIS

LONG BEACH — Something has been growing in the Organic Gardens on the campus of Cal State Long Beach that isn't the normal squash, green beans and sunflowers.

Someone has been growing marijuana plants, according to the university police.

Campus police arrested a man identified as Ramon Sala, 50, on suspicion of cultivating marijuana. Sala, who was booked at the Sheriff's Department Lakewood substation, is free on $1,000 bail.

Cultivation of marijuana is a felony and carries a maximum sentence of three years in state prison.

Police conducted an investigation after an anonymous caller tipped the office of university President Curtis McCray that marijuana was growing in the gardens.

Public Safety Sgt. Jerry Prieto arrested Sala, who was seen leaving the gardens carrying "a leafy plant about two feet high," said Toni Beron, university public affairs director.

Sala threw the plant under a nearby vehicle and asked, "What marijuana?" before Prieto could say anything, Beron said.

A search of the gardens failed to turn up more marijuana, but it appeared that five to six plants may have been removed from the area, Beron said.

The gardens at Bellflower Boulevard and State University Drive are rented to the public to grow vegetables and fruit.

Beron said there has been no previous problem with marijuana in the gardens.

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