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Posted at 2:20 PM ET, 05/ 7/2010

$1M pot bust in Spotsylvania

By Washington Post editors

The Spotsylvania County sheriff's department seized$1 million worth of marijuana during a raid of three homes in the county, NBC 4 reports.

Four people, three of whom are parents, have been arrested and charged.

Nicholas Phatisis, 45; his wife Melissa Phatisis, 33; and Chelsea Holley, 31, were arrested and charged with manufacturing marijuana and conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. Authorities seized three vehicles and approximately $15,000 in cash at the residence.

At a second home in the 9500 block of Whiteheart Drive, authorities seized 70 pounds of marijuana and more than 60 marijuana plants after discovering an elaborate marijuana growing system in the basement of the house, investigators said.

They arrested Deanna Jones, 31. Jones was charged with manufacturing marijuana, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, felony child neglect and child endangerment. Two children, ages 2 and 4, were found in the home and taken by social service officials.

Investigators found another sophisticated marijuana growing system during a search of a third address, in the 500 block of Stafford Glen Court. A half-pound of packaged marijuana, 20 pounds of loose marijuana, 125 marijuana plants and 10 pounds of drying marijuana were seized, a spokesman for the sheriff's office said.

Additional charges are expected, authorities said.

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By Washington Post editors  | May 7, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Tags:  Cannabis, Drugs, Illegal, Manufacturing, Sheriff  
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Legalize it. Tax it. Regulate it.

Posted by: CrabHands | May 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Concur. Spend crime fighting resources on more important issues. I don't smoke pot, but I don't have an issue with those whom want to. It mellows folks out. We need a lot more of that these days.....

Posted by: willtill | May 8, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

OH NOOOOO, marijuana!!!!! RUNNNN, it's a plant that grows out of the ground!!!!

Jury nullification of marijuana prohibition, anyone?

Posted by: millionea7 | May 8, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Agree with the above posters. Legalize, tax, regulate. Let adults be adults.

Posted by: MiuBot116 | May 8, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I guess a customer got mad and told the cops about the family business.

Posted by: access11 | May 8, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Wall Street impoverishes millions with their "legal" derivatives scam and marijuana is illegal - what is wrong with this picture???

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | May 8, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Borrowing money from the Chinese to go after and imprison people for marijuana shows just how broken government is.

Posted by: metroman76 | May 8, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's compare the legal drug, Alcohol, to the illegal drug marijuana.

Alcohol causes:
1. Out of control behavior
2. Violent behavior
3. Lack of good judgement
4. Nasty hangovers
5. Liver disease
6. Prone to casual sex with strangers or inappropriate partners
7. Abused and neglected children
8. Fatal car accidents
9. Sleeping problems
etc, etc, etc

Marijuana causes:

1. Stress relief
2. Pain relief
3. Relaxation
4. No hangover
5. Tendency to stay under the legal speed limit
6. Mellow behavior
7. Better sleep

Are our laws governing marijuana and alcohol use actually intended to destroy society? Looks that way. The whole things is so backwards.

Government, get a clue!!!!

Posted by: fritzie420 | May 8, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love the loaded words these self-aggrandizing police authorities used in their press statement.

All these budget-justifying cops have really accomplished is 1) imposed state-sponsored orphan-hood on some toddlers, and 2) eliminated a home-grown alternative to the Mexican drug cartels' product.

Meanwhile, where are the police raids on the tobacco farmers and the beer distributors? Because that would actually make more sense if the state interest REALLY is "public health."

Posted by: kcx7 | May 8, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

These victims were charged with manufacturing marijuana. I thought only le Bon Dieu - the Good Lord - manufactured marijuana.

All these poor people did was plant some seeds and the Lord did the rest. Is He part of this conspiracy, too? Good luck on the apprehension and conviction.

Posted by: alance | May 8, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Marijuana isn't quite the innocent drug some of you seem to think.

First, it is a carcinogen, with that effect enhanced by the tendency to inhale deeply. England tracks the lung cancer deaths among marijuana users.

Second, there have been more than a few deaths in auto crashes by impaired drivers under the influence of marijuana. In Florida last year police were initially puzzled by the deaths of three young men who had a minor crash, then drove backwards several hundred feet into a canal, where they drowned. Care to guess why the victims were so befuddled?

Posted by: AZrls | May 8, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

With the leaglization of marijuana. How are you going keep people from operating heavy machinery, or doing other types of hazardous work after they come back from their "smoke" break. While I don't care what they do in their free time. Working around Potheads Leagle or Illeagle will not make me feel safe. Just imagine someone feeling "right" driving an 18 wheeler down the Beltway during rush hour.

Posted by: JoeCitizen | May 8, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is that a person high on marijuana is no more of a danger to the general public than a person high on alcohol. I wonder how many more years it will take the American electorate and the Supreme Court to figure this out?

Posted by: cduwel | May 8, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

so, a hundred pounds of pot equals 1 million in value....hahahaha...must be some good sh*t

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | May 8, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Who is the fool that is going to pay $156.00 a 1/4OZ.? Where do the feds get their info from?

Posted by: maxsgami | May 8, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think "manufacture" is an appropriate term - "growing" is a more honest label - if you want to be truthful rather than salacious to make it look heinous or whatever hyperbole the cops use these days.

Yes, I did have a dictionary for breakfast; why do you ask?

Posted by: WorldNet | May 8, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

We're supposed to think this is some sort of a Giant Leap Forward for the War on Drugs? With a simple twist of fate, these people would be held up as the vanguard of the New Economy.

Posted by: Zontag | May 8, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Any way we can get people to stop lying about the aspects of Marijuana? It is NOT a carcinogen!

Posted by: WorldNet | May 8, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Smoking tobacco kills 100,000 people / year. Smoking pot kills 0. Tell me again pls why the latter's illegal.

Posted by: hairguy01 | May 8, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Marijuana prohibition has been a total failure and is perhaps this country's greatest mistake. Not only has it created criminals out of nearly a third of the country's populace, it costs our society billions of dollars every year, creates a strain on our prison system, and has little or no effect on marijuana use in the US. In some cases, prosecuting marijuana use has turned non-violent, middle class kids into violent and unpredictable, career criminals. Once a person has a criminal conviction on their record, they are far less likely to find a good job and become a useful member of society. Other countries with more liberal drug laws have much lower rates of drug addiction among their people. I invite you to my web-pages devoted to raising awareness on the assault on our civil liberties:

Posted by: scottdavene | May 8, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the large majority of the previous comments. There are one or two who claim that there are no negatives to marijuana use, which is ludicrous and a clear refusal to provide truthful and serious observation/opinion, and thereby makes their input useless in a serious discussion.

Truthfully, however, with legalization and regulation, there will not be a large increase in the number of people using marijuana. Most people who want it already get it.

I have watched the "war on drugs," and in particular the war on marijuana for more than 40 years now, and the only results I see are that (1) we are making gangsters and Mexican drug lords filthy, filthy rich; (2) we are turning many otherwise good people into criminals; (3) we are spending fortunes on enforcement and imprisonment; (4) we are losing jobs for responsible people who could be put to work farming, marketing, regulating, and controlling legal marijuana distribution; (5) we are losing all the tax revenue that would be gained from the legal income generated by the responsible people noted in item 4; (6) we are diluting the resources we need to fight distributors and users of harder drugs; and (7) we have practically turned Mexico into a nationally organized, criminal state (NOT a shot at Mexico. WE of the U.S. are causing the problem).

It is time to end the second era of prohibition in our country's history. As much as many of us may frown on others using marijuana, it is not worth the lives, money, and enmity of the police to a large segment of our population.

Please, let's stop being emotional and irrational about this subject and "legalize it, regulate it, and tax it."

Posted by: SecularHumanist1 | May 8, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

..."Criminalization of Maijuana is "INJUSTICE AT IT"S WORSE! I just wrote about this "Great injustice in the Runaway Police State that is building jails in the SOuth at alarming rates, and locking up kids/College Student, Citizens "OVER A JOINT! This is WRONG, and the Federal Government NEEDS TO ACT! As I have sent my article published in the East Tennessee the last week of April said just what we are saying here, and what the Majority of American's have o.k. for decades only to have Republicans turn it down and lock up fellow American's over it "INJUSTICE AT IT'S WORSE and Republicans at their best!

..."I didnt'vote for this to put my fellow AMERICAN'S IN JAIL OVER POT! This is Injustice at it worse."

..."True Patriotism, "Hates Injustice IN IT"S OWN LAND, "MORE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE."
--Clarence Darrow

..."As I said in my article to legalize it, tax it, sell it, reguate, and "LET AMERICAN"S OUT OF OUR OVERCROWDED JAILS OVER IT!

...Enough injustice already..."LET MY PEOPLE GO...

Posted by: ztcb41 | May 8, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I am shocked over the comments for Marijuana. If this was DC SE we were discussing then this blog with be lit up with all kind of ignorant remarks.

Posted by: wisedecision08 | May 11, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

WHAT? Marijuana being grown and sold in Virginia !
I am SHOCKED at most of the comments here.
As WISEDECISION08 states, if it was DC or PG County, there would be a ton of Racist and negative comments here.
All of you potheads that have blogged here need to understand one thing and one thing only.... GROWING AND SELLING MARIJUANA IN THE U.S. IS AGAINST THE LAW !!!
These people, (in VIRGINIA no less), have broken the law. Have you all forgotten your elementary school lesson, "Marijuana leads to harder drugs".
Kudos to the law enforcers of Virginia. Lock em up, get that rifraf off the streets.

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | May 11, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Talk about Racist issues, this newsworthy article was not displayed anywhere I could find in the Washington Post. I had to do a "search" to find this article.
I wonder if there were a 1M drug bust in PG or DC, would it be just as quiet in the Washington Post.... Hmmmm

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | May 11, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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