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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Marijuana charges against Atkinson man set aside

By Kiera Blessing

BRENTWOOD — An Atkinson man accused of growing more than 7 pounds of marijuana in his home will not be convicted of the crime.

Robert Zdrada, and the state settled on a diversion agreement in Rockingham Superior Court Tuesday, in which Zdrada will not be convicted of any felony charge in exchange for completing 100 hours of community service. His criminal record will remain clean.

"It certainly is a relief because this has been very stressful," Zdrada told The Eagle-Tribune following the hearing. "I've probably lost another 10, 12 pounds because of it and it will take me over a year to try to get that back."

Zdrada and his wife Valerie were arrested Oct. 19 and charged with one count each of cultivating marijuana and possession with intent to distribute. All charges against Valerie and the distribution charge against Robert were later dropped after their lawyer, Alan Cronheim, showed the court that Zdrada suffers from cancer and was growing the drug for medicinal purposes.

"We're happy that it's done," Zdrada said. "I'm most happy that Val is out of the picture on this — she never had anything to do with the drugs."

Though medical marijuana was legalized in New Hampshire in 2013, the first dispensary in the state did not open until last month. The state only began distributing medical identification cards late last year; Zdrada received his in January.

While free on personal recognizance bail, Judge Sharon DeVries of Plaistow ruled that Zdrada was permitted to use medical marijuana with his identification card as long as it was a part of his treatment plan discussed with a doctor.

Tuesday, Zdrada appeared with Cronheim in superior court for a plea and sentencing hearing. In exchange for making the diversion agreement with the state, Zdrada waived his right to trial. If he were to default on the terms of the deal, he would be sentenced to 12 months in jail suspended for one year.

Zdrada will also have to pay a $50 per month fee for one year while he completes the community service requirement.

It's early in his treatment plan, but Zdrada said the medical cannabis has been helpful. He told Judge David Anderson that he "deal(s) with a lot of pain" and "every day is a struggle."

"Right now, it's try," he said of using medical marijuana.

"It has been heart breaking watching my husband suffer with cancer issues during this most difficult time," Valerie Zdrada said in an email Tuesday. "I would like to thank all of the compassionate people in the community who have reached out and supported him."

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy ending. Too bad they saw fit to further burden this man with 100 hours of service when he is facing more important issues. Seven months of worry for no good reason was enough. Maybe the APD should reassess their priorities and make sure they understand what is going on before arresting an elderly man. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

POT IS NOT LEGAL, Justice was not served.

Anonymous said...

Idiot alert....might just be a town bully.

Anonymous said...

Chief block head just being a bully

Anonymous said...

We live in a socially deficient community and we all know that medical marijuana was approved in NH. This man was caught up in waiting, in need and by some petty locals.

Anonymous said...

POT = CRIME= LAW BROKEN = NO ONE ABOVE LAW = ATKINSON TOWN HYPOCRITES

Anonymous said...

Police Bullying=crime=lawsuits=taxpayer moneys going down the drain=townies to stupid to get rid of the law breaker=Atkinson at it's finest. I'm going to smoke a joint just to forget about the town letting this even happen.

Anonymous said...

Medical weed ain't cheap... Home grown controls quality and cost,
It's gonna happen, it's a miracle plant used by humans for centuries..

Anonymous said...

Since when does Atkinson punish crime? They violate the law themselves and go after political adversaries. This man was targeted by the mysterious informant. Why not go after those who make obscene public gestures and prosecute those who actually commit crimes? Hell no, they'd have to start with their own. Bums.

Anonymous said...

Actually medical marijuana IS legal but the state fell down by not implementing a plan. Justice would have been no arrest, get him help instead.

Anonymous said...

Just watched the Kelly Ayotte commercial, didn't our former Chief get in trouble for electioneering? Chief Brackett makes it look like the entire town of Atkinson is for Kelly. Is the contract almost up?

Anonymous said...

stuck with chief bucket head we gave him a 3 year contract. hired him after no one wanted him or was fired from every place else he worked

Anonymous said...

Maybe he'll be fired for cause like the last one. Maybe he's just misunderstood.

Anonymous said...

Watching the ad, 4 law enforcement professionals in the ad, only one has his uniform on, is he representing the thoughts of all of Atkinson or maybe just its' employees. Please address this BOS

Anonymous said...

We need to be tough on crime? Lots to do... start with the electioneering, the go to town hall.

Anonymous said...

Heard a rumor! We might be getting a few refugees!

Anonymous said...

from PPD?

Anonymous said...

Syria but almost the same thing 😉

Justin Mark said...

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