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4/26/2013 6:01:00 AM
Kingman mayor's son sentenced for marijuana grow
Trent Salem
Trent Salem

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN ­- Had James Trenton "Trent" Salem been arrested prior to November 2010, the month Arizonans approved medical marijuana, the 19-year-old son of Mayor John Salem might be headed to prison rather than three weeks in the county jail and a term of probation.

Salem also must perform 150 hours of community service and pay hundreds of dollars in fees and fines.

In handing down his sentence, Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle acknowledged he would follow the spirit of the medical marijuana law and the "will of the people."

Salem pleaded guilty earlier this spring to one count of facilitating the cultivation of marijuana. He was indicted on a much more serious charge of marijuana production.

Salem told Carlisle that he has turned his life around since his arrest last August.

"I no longer smoke marijuana," Salem told Carlisle prior to sentencing. "I have made tremendous strides." His mother addressed the court and confirmed her son has "completely turned his life around" over the past eight months.

Salem has been involved in a 12-step program at his church and he has a full-time job.

"Not only am I willing to stop (using marijuana)," he said, "I have stopped."

Salem made his comments in response to information contained in his pre-sentence report. Salem reportedly told police he would never give up smoking weed.

Salem was arrested with two other people last August at a home in the 3600 block of Wells Street in Kingman.

All three men carried valid medical marijuana cards, but the 77 marijuana plants, four pounds of cultivated marijuana and hashish made from oil in the plants far exceeded the 12 plants and two-and-a-half ounces each cardholder could legally possess.

Still, Carlisle acknowledged the state's medical marijuana law and society's evolving opinion toward the drug's use have altered how he approaches such cases today compared to the past.

In other words, had Salem been arrested prior to voter approval of medical marijuana, he could have been headed to prison for a number of years.

Still, Carlisle didn't give Salem a free pass.

Despite several pleas from letter writers who asked the judge not to sentence Salem to jail time, Carlisle did.

He said jail time is ordered to punish offenders or to act as a deterrent. He made it clear Salem was sentenced as a punishment.

He was given credit for two days he served following his arrest and will be allowed to participate in the jail's work release program. Salem must surrender to the jail by May 20.

If Salem successfully completes his three years on probation, the charges will be reduced to a misdemeanor.

If he fails, he faces up to two years in prison and will be a convicted felon.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013
Article comment by: Roy Leggett

You can not compare marijuina to Meth. There Is not comparason. Meth. dealers should get harsher sentenceing than weed. Working in the medical field and then law enforcement, I never saw a liofe ruined with weed but saw many ruined kids on Meth. Comparing these two would be like comparing a grape to a basketball. I tried weed once and have never used it again.Try Meth. once and you are hooked. I saw a young lady at the store who had sores all over her face and arms and needle tracks. At one time she was a beautiful young lady, but not now. Meth dealers do not care how many lives they ruin, as long as they make money. Life in prison would not be too harsh for meth dealers.

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013
Article comment by: End the Nanny State

Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could."
- William F. Buckley Jr. quote on Marijuana


Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013
Article comment by: unclear unfair

Here's something I've been trying to find out. If a person has a card, grows the legal amount of plants. At harvest time even ONE plant will produce more then the 2.5 ounces of allowable posession. There seems to be NO allowance for Harvest quanities exeeding 2.5 ounces. Its Impossible to NOT have more then the "allowable" amount for home growers at harvest. I guess its going to take a few lives ruined in court before this "vauge" area gets specified.

Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Tj

"Do some real research and not what you read on posters in waiting rooms."

Looks like he came back and cited a source. As far as your comment goes, maybe you should go by more than what you read in the latest issue of High Times, or see on posters at some medical pot shop.

For the record, I am in favor of decriminalizing possesion of it. That does not include dealing it.


Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2013
Article comment by: anon anonymous

TJ Denton
All of the FACTS I cited were from reputable reaearch: The American Academy of Nuerology, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, The American Lung Associatioon. If you choose to believe the fantasy that pot is harmless, that is your choice, but all scientific research says that it is not harmless. Read it for yourself.


Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Article comment by: Tj Denton

anon anonymous.

Everything you stated was made up and is completely false with most all current scientific studies proving you blatantly incorrect. Do some real research and not what you read on posters in waiting rooms. No deaths ever recorded due to marijuana use and yet perscription drugs, cigarettes and alcohol kill hundreds of thousands of people a year and they are perfectly legal... Nuff said.


Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Angela Longman

"Well another useless, and stupid bust on someone who does no harm."

Did you miss the part where it stated "He was indicted on a much more serious charge of marijuana production."? It was much more than a couple of plants for personal use. In the authorities view, it was a for profit operation.


Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Article comment by: Anon Anonymous

Ok. let's look at some facts about this "Harmless" drug everyone in the U.S. is so in love with. Smoking marijuana impairs long & short term memory, learning skills, attention, judgement & other cognitive functions, balance, coordination, & raises the heart rate. Increases risks of chronic cough, bronchitis & other respiratory illnesses, & even lung cancer. The smoke from a joint contains irritants & up to 70% more carcinogens than tobacco smoke, so how harmless is it really?? We are a society of stupid people who are rapidly becoming even stupider thanks to our drug addicted lifestyle & that includes marijuana!

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Article comment by: Jimmy Green

@ Everyone. Here's an idea. Why don't you mind YOUR business.

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Article comment by: American

"Vee vill obey zee rules or you veel be prosecuted!"

Of course the great irony is that if these kids had resided only 60 miles away in California they probably wouldn't be experiencing this whole travesty of justice. I hope Judge Carlisle sleeps well at night.

And the drug war keeps mowing down lives...


Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013
Article comment by: Obey The Law

It all comes down to what the law is. If you are going to break the law then you may have to pay the price some day. All of you pot advocates may think that it's harmless but when you have a marijuana card and you abuse it by growing more than your allowed then you are "BREAKING THE LAW"

Get over it you pot heads!


Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: In the Community's Best Interest

Know FH, goodness I wish you would have informed the judge these facts about your cousin.

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Kanisha Portia

@know firsthand, not that I think Trent should be given a stiffer sentence, but he actually does have a prior (DUI), so could explain the jail time.

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Avg Joe

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Who cares who his Daddy is!!!!

Come on KDM, really who cares! Why don't you tell everyone who his mamma is. Or his grandfather.

Posted: Saturday, April 27, 2013
Article comment by: American Taliban

The drug warrior Jihad demands these infidels pay! All hail the American Taliban!

Posted: Saturday, April 27, 2013
Article comment by: Angela Longman

Well another useless, and stupid bust on someone who does no harm. Weed is a plant, and at least it is natural. I watch meth heads deal everyday all day long next door to me, and I never see them get busted. This gets my blood boiled I think Kingman needs to leave the potheads, and get the thieving meth heads off our streets which mind you they stole gas from my other neighbor across the street, and gas drops lead to their house. Good luck James sadly you look like a good person that would not do much harm to anyone.

Posted: Saturday, April 27, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

Here's a thought. Don't break the law and then snivel over the consequences when you get busted. So punishment is not equal? So what. You did the crime now you do the time. Gee what about obeying the law do you not understand?

Posted: Saturday, April 27, 2013
Article comment by: Old Desert Woman

Why should tax payers pay for this nonsense. Selling harmful substances is one thing but there is no proof that marijuana harms and some evidence that it cures. People have all kinds of bad habits but it's not our job to control them unless they become harmful to others. Make it legal and control harmful abusers like they do liquer.

Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013
Article comment by: Tj Denton

Once again...

Marijuana vs methamphetamine??? You really arent trying to compare the two things right?


Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013
Article comment by: Know Firsthand

@ once again and who you are related too:
Recently a family member of mine here in town was convicted of the SAME exact thing, but my cousin was growing alot more than Trent. My cousin has a past record (none felonies) and has his medical card as well. When the same judge sentenced my cousin a month back, he only gave him 3 years probation and of course the fines and fees. NO jail time at all. Mr. Salem's son DID NOT have a criminal history and had alot more people on his side than my cousin and he is getting counsoling..... And my cousin still wants to smoke once probation is done and he has not completed any 12-step programs. BUT Mr. Salem's son got jail time!!! So, IT IS NOT who your related to or who you know in this town about the decisions the court makes or what company hires who or what not. Trust me, I DO NOT like the judical system in this town, but your statement is totally wrong. Mr. Salem's son received a much harsher punishment than my cousin by receiving jail time.


Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Once Again It's who you are or who you are related to!

" I've also first hand experienced a Class 2 felonly for a 30 dollar sale of methamphetamine in the 80's which gave me a classification"

So let me get this straight, you were (or are) a methhead who got caught and you think you were treated unfairly?

LOL


Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013
Article comment by: Jack A.Lope

ONCE AGAIN ..... "30 dollar sale of methamphetamine in the 80's '

that is murder!!!


Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

The same deal should be offered to others in the future, not just this young man. Marijuana should be decriminalized. Good luck Trent. Don't make him a felon for a weed.

Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013
Article comment by: Once Again It's who you are or who you are related to!

I've seen people sent to prison for less than this crime, I've also first hand experienced a Class 2 felonly for a 30 dollar sale of methamphetamine in the 80's which gave me a classification one step below murder, so for someone to get a misdemeanor after completing his probation is interesting. 7 years probation for mine along with a lifetime of it still coming up and having to be worked through. Go figure, it really is Just Us, there is no Justice in Arizona, even in a small place like Kingman.


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