WEST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — Despite criminal charges brought by Rhode Island State Police saying otherwise, a candidate for governor claims the 48 pounds of cannabis found at her West Greenwich home was to be used for religious purposes and she had no intentions of selling it.
Anne Armstrong was arrested Thursday after state police executed a search warrant at the Hudson Pond Road home she shares with Alan Gordon. Police said they discovered trays of marijuana and jars full of the drug.
Armstrong, 58, is the Compassion Party’s candidate for Rhode Island governor while Gordon, 48, is representing the party in the race for attorney general.
Both were arraigned Thursday on charges of possession of marijuana in excess of five kilograms and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Now out on bail, the couple responded to the allegations Friday.
“Allegedly there was the strong smell of cannabis someone reported,” Armstrong recalled. “Because of that they set up surveillance. They flew helicopters over our house and yard, they took pictures.”
Armstrong and Gordon said they believe the timing of the raid was politically motivated. The pair maintains they use the cannabis to make holy oil for religious uses, and they never kept track of how much they had because they don’t sell it.
“We don’t use scales,” Armstrong said. “We’re stewards and custodians of it on behalf of the church. It’s not something we measure.”
Armstrong’s main platform is the legalization of cannabis in Rhode Island.
In last month’s WPRI 12/Roger Williams University poll, a little more than 1 percent of voters said they were supporting Armstrong for governor.