Stuart woman locked in medical marijuana fight

Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 18:12:23-05

Bridgit Kirouac is facing serious charges: cultivation of cannabis and possession of cannabis over 20 grams. 

She faces 10 years in prison, but she maintains she did nothing wrong.  
"I'm a patient, not a criminal," Kirouac says. "I have no criminal background whatsoever." 
According to court documents, in 2014 deputies followed Kirouac home from a hydroponics store. A detective testified Thursday that there was a suspicion that Kirouac was growing marijuana. 
Hearing fans and smelling a strong odor, law enforcement executed a search the next day and uncovered 20 marijuana plants growing in her home.
Michael Minardi, Kirouac's attorney, argued not only was the search illegal, but Kirouac as the right to use the marijuana. 
He says Kirouac, who moved here from Maine, had a recommendation from her doctor there to use cannabis - and that should be honored here. 
"People like Bridgit Kirouac who are 50-years-old are the majority of my clients around this state," Minardi says. "We're not talking about kids, we're not talking about drug dealers, we're talking about people who are legitimately using cannabis for medical reasons." 
The state, however, maintains that marijuana is still illegal, and even with recent medical marijuana advancements in the state legislature, prosecutors say Kirouac still can't grow her own weed. 
At the end of the day the judge denied motions to dismiss charges and a motion to suppress the evidence gained from the search.
Kirouac said she's disappointed.
"The reason that I was growing my own medicine was because I didn't know anybody here," she says. "I live my whole life doing everything that I can to avoid any more pain than I already have." 
The prosecuting attorney was unable to be reached for comment. 

Kirouac's trial is set to get underway in June. 

The hydroponic store she was seen leaving says they weren't aware of what Kirouac was doing, and they don't condone the growing of marijuana.