WAILUKU - A Lahaina man was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine on a drug charge after police seized 23 marijuana plants from his residence three years ago.
Frederick Bacolini, 69, was given a chance to keep a reduced charge of first-degree promotion of a detrimental drug off his record if he follows court requirements for one year.
He was given credit for 12 days he previously spent in jail.
Police seized the marijuana after seeing the plants during a flyover of the property on Ikaika Place, then obtaining a search warrant, said Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones.
Police reported that a check showed Bacolini had a valid medical marijuana permit.
But "they found more marijuana in his possession than he was permitted to have," Jones said.
Hawaii law allows registered patients diagnosed with a "debilitating medical condition" to have an "adequate supply" of no more than three mature marijuana plants, four immature marijuana plants and 1 ounce of usable marijuana for each mature plant.
Deputy Public Defender Wendy Hudson said Bacolini believed others had medical marijuana "blue cards" for the property.
She said Bacolini was likely to do well on probation, noting he had been supervised while free for two and a half years while his case was pending.
While Bacolini described himself as a disabled veteran, 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen said Bacolini's service record indicated he spent about six months on active duty of the nearly 20 months he was in the military.
Bissen asked Bacolini why he had smoked marijuana daily for the last 49 years.
"I can sleep. I have no spasms whatsoever and I can walk throughout the day without any pain," Bacolini said. "My condition is daily. I have had pain since 1962. It hurts really bad."
As part of his sentence, Bacolini was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs.
An unregistered Ruger firearm found in the police search was forfeited.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.