Veteran and Purple Heart recipient tells police his marijuana plants are medicine

Local veteran told police that the 14 marijuana plants he was growing is his medicine in Vero Beach, Florida.
Local veteran told police that the 14 marijuana plants he was growing is his medicine in Vero Beach, Florida.

VERO BEACH – A local veteran and Purple Heart recipient told police that the 14 marijuana plants growing in his bedroom is his medicine, reports show.

Detectives at the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that 42-year-old Christopher John Field of Vero Beach was growing marijuana plants inside his residence.

Deputies say that when they went to the Vero Beach home and asked Field if he was growing marijuana, he first denied it.

“Ultimately, he admitted to having 14 plants growing in the master bedroom,” the deputy said.

Field cooperated with law enforcement and allowed them to conduct a search and removal, according to the affidavit.

“Upon entering the master bedroom, I located a black heatshield tent commonly used to grow indoor Marijuana. I noted a ventilation system installed leading from the A/C unit along with a humming sound common to the lights within the grow system,” the deputy said.

The marijuana plants were in an assortment of stages of growth; some were in the bloom stage, the report said.

Field told law enforcement that the marijuana was for personal use and that he was a Veteran and earned a purple heart in the military, the affidavit said.

“The defendant informed me that he is a Veteran of Somalia and a purple heart recipient. According to the defendant, he once had insurance, but due to Obamacare, could no longer afford it, so this is the route he took,” detectives said.

Field said he was self-medicating using the marijuana plants, according to the report.

Deputies found “no evidence to support any illegal sales” and only charged him with Cultivation of Marijuana instead of the more serious charges that could have been felonies.

Field has since been released from the Indian River County Jail after posting $1,000 bond. His court date is scheduled for October 31, 2018.

While many Veterans qualify for free healthcare services based on a VA compensable service-connected condition or other special eligibilities, they are required to complete a financial assessment.

Veterans whose income exceed VA income limits must agree to pay required co-pays for health care services to become eligible for VA healthcare services, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.