When 18-year-old Merrick James Boyer got pulled over on the 15 freeway last month, Escondido officers found a black duffle bag stuffed with jars and bags of marijuana on the backseat. Officers also confiscated a digital scale and a hundred little plastic bags.
Boyer’s cell phone had a text message asking “how much an O” would be, which meant “how much would an ounce of marijuana cost,” according to an interpretation by Escondido police officer Ross Umstot, who testified at the Vista Courthouse on February 14.
Umstot said a total of 9.6 ounces of marijuana were taken from Boyer’s car when he was arrested on the morning of January 27. Defense attorney Patrick McCoy asked the officer to confirm that a valid marijuana “recommendation” card was found on Boyer’s person at the time. This item, also known as a medical marijuana ID card, was valid until March of this year, according to Umstot.
The deputy public defender argued to the superior-court judge that a patient legally purchasing marijuana for medical purposes might need a scale to measure the amount he was buying in order to confirm that he was getting all he paid for.
Judge Harry Elias ordered Merrick James Boyer held to answer felony charges of possession and transportation of marijuana for sale and misdemeanor driving with suspended license. The defendant pleaded not guilty and is next expected in the Vista Courthouse on March 14.