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Medical marijuana provider arrested

Matt Macosko is back in inmate orange.

Macosko, 30, was placed into custody Wednesday afternoon on a warrant of supplying false information to a police officer and possession of marijuana for sale.

He was being held on $113,000 bail in El Dorado County Jail and faces about six years in prison if convicted. Arraignment is planned for Friday afternoon at El Dorado County Superior Court.



The warrant, filed Oct. 11 by the district attorney’s office, was based on Macosko reportedly supplying a false Gardnerville address to a police officer during a traffic stop Sept. 10. He was stopped for having different license plates on his old blue bus.

The vehicle is where Macosko lives. The Gardnerville address, located on the 700 block of Tillman Drive, is real and is one of the places where he showers, Macosko said during a jail interview.




Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe said an officer checked the address and did not find a residence. A Douglas County sheriff’s dispatcher checked the address and found it doesn’t exist, Uthe said.

During the arrest, South Lake Tahoe police officers searched the bus, which Macosko was ready to jack-up to fix the brakes, and found more than 11 ounces of marijuana.

“I feel if I had any amount of pot, they would have arrested me for sales,” he said behind a plate-glass window. “Their case is very weak. They’re making an example of me.”

Uthe said Macosko’s Nov. 12 trial date of furnishing marijuana to minors remains on schedule.

A year ago, Macosko was arrested on the furnishing charges. While being taken into custody, authorities reportedly found almost 4 ounces in his vehicle. Uthe, wanting to focus on at least two counts of furnishing marijuana to minors, filed a motion in August that dismissed a transportation charge.

If convicted, Macosko faces a maximum of about 17 years in state prison.

Macosko said he was aware of the consequences of actions that could get him back in jail. He was out of jail on bonds.

“I was very surprised,” he said. “I’ve been paying extra special attention not to do anything.”

Uthe said the new charges of possession for sale and transportation will be a separate case.

Another transportation and possession for sales case is trailing the furnishing. Macosko was placed into custody April 2001 after he picked up a package of marijuana that had been returned to the Al Tahoe Post Office after someone failed to receive it from a post office in Kentucky.

“I would say this is a situation I wouldn’t want to find myself in,” Uthe said. “This is not good. We’re not impressed he’s been arrested on a charge with trial pending on a similar charge. I don’t think the judge will see that either.”

J. David Nick, Macosko’s San Francisco attorney in the furnishing case, said he was not hired as counsel in the new arrest. Nick declined further comment.

Macosko is well known in the South Lake Tahoe area for his advocate stance on medical marijuana. He has a doctor’s recommendation to possess marijuana. Macosko said the recommendation is for severe anxiety disorder stemming from childhood abuse.

“Assuming Matt has a recommendation, we would definitely look at that,” Uthe said.

Macosko cited possible protection from medical marijuana guidelines, which allow people with a doctor’s recommendation to possess marijuana without criminal prosecution. Those guidelines are now being reviewed by the El Dorado County district attorney’s office. However, District Attorney Gary Lacy said Macosko may not have a viable shield.

“Even the guidelines we have are still not a defense to unlawful possession or transporting marijuana, i.e. for sale or distribution for others,” Lacy said.

— Contact William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com.


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