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Town Official Ousted Following Marijuana Theft

He allegedly took cannabis plants while the grower was in jail.

Voters in a rural community in southern Maine ousted the chairman of the town’s board in a recall election this week.

The recall effort reportedly stemmed from an incident last summer involving a local marijuana grower.

Lebanon Select Board Chairman Charles Russell and two other local officials took $100,000 worth of cannabis plants while the farmer was in jail over a parole violation.

Russell, who grows medical marijuana for household use, said he wanted to keep the plants from getting into the wrong hands.

An investigation by state and local authorities did not result in any charges, but the Associated Press reports that anger over the theft helped fuel the recall bid.

Organizers hinted at other issues, as well, including the confiscation of the farmer’s livestock.

Russell lost his seat by 43 votes, WGME-TV reports. Three other town leaders survived the recall election.

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