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Long Beach Man Arrested in Medical Marijuana Case

August 12, 2000

LONG BEACH — In what many believe to be the first medical marijuana case in Long Beach, a 55-year-old man who claims he's suffering from nerve damage and chronic arthritis remained in jail Friday after police arrested him for keeping 30 hemp plants in his backyard.

David L. Zink was arrested at his Baltic Avenue home Thursday night on felony charges of cultivating marijuana, possession of illegal mushrooms and possession of equipment to make concentrated marijuana. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

Saying he uses pot in compliance with the state's medical marijuana law, Zink said police ignored his doctor's written recommendation that he smoke marijuana to relieve symptoms of his health problems.

Long Beach Police Department spokesman David Marander said the amount of marijuana found at Zink's home is more consistent with selling pot than using it for medical purposes. He also noted that officers seized equipment to make hashish, as well as what are believed to be hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Police said they confiscated 30 plants ranging from 3 feet to 7 feet tall. They estimated the street value of the marijuana at between $75,000 and $100,000.

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