Man found with 7 pounds of marijuana at SFO claims it was personal use 

This Jet Blue passenger's head was in the clouds, according to prosecutors.

A Sebastopol man who tried to bring 7 pounds of marijuana through security at San Francisco International Airport earlier this year reportedly told police the weed was strictly for personal use.

But skeptical prosecutors charged him with possession with intent to sell, saying Kenneth Gibson could not possibly use that amount of ganja during his planned five-day trip to Boston.

Still, the 46-year-old Gibson is battling the charges with the help of his attorney, Jai Gohel, who lists marijuana defense among his specialties. On Monday, the case reached its fourth day of jury trial in a San Mateo County courtroom.

The incident in question occurred Feb. 1. Gibson and his wife reportedly picked up their Jet Blue boarding passes and proceeded to the screening area.

A security screener monitoring the X-ray machine noticed that Gibson's carry-on bag contained numerous packages of "biological material" and became suspicious, said Karen Guidotti, San Mateo County's chief deputy district attorney.

Inside the bag, Guidotti said, were seven 1-pound sacks of pot, each double-bagged, vacuum-sealed and neatly lined up alongside each other. Gibson said he knew the marijuana was there and he possessed it for personal use.

"He produced a valid medical marijuana card from a doctor in Sonoma County," Guidotti said.

Guidotti said the amount of weed was not necessarily the problem, as California law doesn't specify how much marijuana a legitimate patient can possess. The brief trip and the elaborate packaging is what raised red flags.

And even if Gibson had gotten through security, he would not have been able to legally possess medical marijuana in Massachusetts without a permit from that state, said Ellen Komp, deputy director of California NORML, a group aiming to legalize marijuana for adults.

Massachusetts had legalized medical marijuana for adult patients just one month before Gibson's arrest, but it does not accept out-of-state prescriptions.

Komp said she does not advise patients to travel with more than an ounce of marijuana.

"Transportation isn't specifically covered in the law; we're actually trying to get that changed," Komp said. "We recommend an ounce or less flying because that's more defensible for medical use."

Pin It

Speaking of...

Latest in Crime & Courts

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation