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Thursday February 11th, 2016 8:25PM

Athens teacher: Marijuana in home was medicine

By The Associated Press
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- An Athens middle school teacher facing drug charges says he was growing marijuana in his home for medicinal purposes.

The Athens Banner-Herald ( http://bit.ly/1iE28ou ) reports that Joseph Weston LePage posted an online note to co-workers addressing his arrest earlier this week.

LePage says police seized two flowering marijuana plants that he was growing for his own personal medicine. He says he was dependent on pharmaceuticals for back pain but decided to grow and consume organic pain medicine as a substitute.

The assistant police chief for Athens and Clarke County, Fred Stephens, says officers found more than two marijuana plants. He says those other items included a hallucinogenic mushroom.

LePage is charged offenses included marijuana distribution, but he says he has never dealt drugs.

The teacher is now on administrative leave.
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