Dispute over Marijuana in Buffalo Township Headed to Mediation
Wednesday, March, 28, 2018
The dispute continues in Buffalo Township over the accusations of marijuana growing by a couple living in the area. The couple filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Township, which is now heading to mediation.
The couple, Edward and Audrey Cramer, claim area police, as well as an insurance agent, accused the couple of growing marijuana when what they were actually growing was a hibiscus plant.
According to the Cramers, both in their late 60s, they were handcuffed and held in the back of a police car for hours. Their home and property were searched in the incident. The couple was eventually released without charges filed against them because there was no marijuana on the property.
The original lawsuit filed by the couple was in Butler County Court, but it was later moved to a federal district court. The suit alleges excessive force, as well as false arrest, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit also claims an insurance agent came to their home to investigate an insurance claim and took photos of the hibiscus plant, but failed to include pictures of the flowering hibiscus on the plant. The Cramers believe this was to make it look as if the plant was indeed marijuana.
The court ordered an attempt at mandatory mediation with mediator David White, April 17th in Pittsburgh. The Cramers are unlikely to attend the mediation, but their attorneys, as well as attorneys for Nationwide Insurance and legal counsel for Buffalo Township police will attend.
Following the event, Nationwide Insurance sent the Cramers a notice that marijuana had been found on the property and if they did not remove the plants their insurance policy would be cancelled.