All different types of people consume cannabis, and that means all walks of life also grow it. Often, when people work in creative fields, there’s a likely connection between career and cannabis.

Sadly for amateur botanists Tori Shaw and Tyler Smoyer, that collision came to head in Kentucky, a state with some of the strictest laws against growing cannabis.

The couple was busted via the state’s “Text-a-Tip” program when someone notified police of suspicious behavior. Cops visited the couple’s home for a brief conversation then promptly returned with a warrant to search the property. The warrant turned up a whopping seven marijuana plants along with six guns and a tactical vest.

While it’s never a good idea to combine cannabis with firearms, this honest-working couple wasn’t exactly a branch of ISIS. Nonetheless, they’ve been charged with a felony for growing more than five plants of cannabis and multiple misdemeanors for having the weaponry.

Each individual has a clean record but can still face up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. But both individuals lives are already altered: Tori Shaw, a notable local news personality on WPST TV, lost her job and both must now deal with the legal and fiscal aftermath that comes with such a case.

As expected with this type of case, the local community is not happy about the charges facing these two non-violent, law-abiding members of society. Their complaint stems from a common one: these aren’t seasoned criminals worth law enforcement’s time.

This is a normal married couple that was simply growing enough cannabis for private consumption (seven plants is not much). While having guns also in the mix wasn’t the best idea, the punishment in this case does not seem to fit the “crime”–because the crime simply shouldn’t be one.

Earlier this year, a Julliard-trained cellist was charged smuggling more than one-hundred pounds of cannabis in Oregon. While that was far more of a crime, both cases go to show that normal, talented individuals often turn to post for a financial rescue.

Bernie Canter

photo credit: Kentucky State Police

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