WENATCHEE — A longstanding drug possession case against a medical cannabis provider vanished from felony court last week into the realm of a misdemeanor.
Tamara T. Amendolare, 32, of Chelan will serve a five-day jail sentence for solicitation to possess psilocybin mushrooms, a gross misdemeanor. Since January 2012 she had battled a felony charge of possession of psilocybin, stemming from a Columbia River Drug Task Force raid in 2011 on the Chelan home where she and her family lived and operated a medical cannabis grow operation.
Amendolare pleaded guilty Friday and was to start her jail term today. She declined a request for comment forwarded through her attorney.
The raid at first led to charges of unlawful manufacture of cannabis against Tamara’s husband Joe Amendolare, 32, in September 2011. But that case was thrown out two months later after Chelan County prosecutors determined the plants were properly authorized under the state’s medical marijuana laws.
Chelan County prosecutors then filed the psilocybin charge against Tamara in January 2012, based on deputies’ claims that they found psilocybin mushrooms in a dresser drawer among her other possessions during the raid. The couple sought to suppress the results of the search at any trial, saying in part that there was no probable cause to search the home and task force detectives unlawfully refused to show them any of the evidence seized in the process.
The Amendolares, parents of three young children, operated the medical cannabis service Compassionate Healthcare Collective, which in July was forced to move from its offices on Duncan Road north of Wenatchee when U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby ordered their landlord to evict the business or face federal prosecution. The operation was established as a collective garden, from which authorized patients could buy marijuana or derivatives for treatment of certain medical conditions. Three other Wenatchee-area medical providers received similar notices.
“The fortunate thing for the Amendolares is that this brings their problems with the criminal justice system to an end,” Tamara’s lawyer George Trejo Jr. said in an email.
A related charge of bail jumping, filed by the prosecutor’s office after Amendolare was late to a court hearing due to car trouble, was also dismissed.
Tamara Amendolare is the daughter of Chelan physician Dr. Michael Travers, who was fired from Lake Chelan Clinic last June after the clinic board adopted a policy against issuing medical cannabis recommendations to patients. Travers had been an outspoken proponent of including marijuana in certain courses of health treatment.
Jefferson Robbins: 664-7123