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Atascadero resident cleared of multiple felonies, including pot and grand theft

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Josh Weber, 21, of Atascadero was looking forward to a fresh start on July 15, when he and his friend Seth Giles, 29, moved two carloads of personal property out the home they'd shared with Josh's cousin, Matt Weber, 30. But when Matt came home to find Josh packing up boxes of tools and personal items that he thought were his, he objected.

Josh said he was entitled to the property because of a $3,000 debt from his cousin, so he, his father, and Giles drove off in two cars with trailer in tow. Matt then called the police to report a burglary, and the police - armed with a clear description of the vehicle and suspect - jumped on the road in hot pursuit.

Atascadero State Hospital police quickly caught up with Josh and pulled him over; they were soon joined by Atascadero city police and a sheriff's car. A thorough search of Josh's vehicle uncovered all of his property - he was moving after all - including a half dozen marijuana plants and about three ounces of pot.

Josh claimed the pot was for medicinal use, but could not produce the documentation to prove it. He was then booked and charged with three felonies: burglary, grand theft, and marijuana cultivation. In the meantime, Matt arrived on the scene to reclaim most of the vehicle's contents; family and law enforcement haven't seen him since.

Last Thursday, Oct. 20, Josh appeared in court with his attorney Louis Koory - who's increasingly becoming known as the go-to guy for medical marijuana cases in SLO County - and had all three charges dismissed on insufficient evidence. Koory demonstrated that Weber was a qualified medical user of cannabis and that he had not burglarized his cousin before moving out.

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