Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Pot Plants Growing in Yard of Florida Mayor, 84, Are Not Hers

Since she took office in March 2010, Oak Hill, Florida's Mayor Mary Lee Cook has been part of a heated battle with officials at the local police department.

In what she calls the newest manifestation of the dispute, narcotics officers with the Volusia Country Sheriff's Office have found 10 potted marijuana plants growing in the 84-year-old's yard.

She claims someone planted the potted pot plants on her property to "ruin her reputation."

At a public meeting on Monday, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that Mayor Mary Lee Cook explained to attendees that, about two weeks ago, officers showed up at her Oak Hill home after they received an anonymous tip.

They located the pot plants near a kicked-in fence on the edge of her property.

She claims not to have put them there, and has vowed not to resign.

Though charges have yet to be filed, police are still investigating.

If they don't find any evidence linking her to the plants, chances are Mayor Cook won't be facing any charges. While possession alone is often sufficient to meet the legal burden imposed by narcotics laws, it's very difficult to demonstrate that a person knowingly possessed drugs when they deny knowing of their existence.

This is particularly true when a potential defendant has no history of drug use or other criminal activity.

Even though she isn't fond of local law enforcement, there's no indication that Mayor Mary Lee Cook hit the pipe at any point in her 84 years on this earth.

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